“I sincerely regret my actions and the unfortunate use of words during the recent incident on-set,” Washington, 43, says in the statement. “Both are beneath my own personal standards. … I have nothing but respect for my coworkers … and have apologized personally to everyone involved.”
Additionally, many rumors were created from the resulting media frenzy, one of which included that Washington would be fired and replaced by former ER star Eriq La Salle. This speculation evoked the following response from the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes.
“I found (those rumors) not only ridiculous but offensive that we would consider replacing a member of our family,” Rhimes tells PEOPLE. “And also the (idea) that one black man was interchangeable with another seemed disturbing to me.”
And I especially love that people who had speculated the replacement, were probably thinking, “Hey, it’s not just that he’s black. He’s played a DOCTOR before. That’s like, really important. He probably still has the scrubs at home from ER.”
Written by Lisa Timmons