An actor who lost his role on a high-profile TV drama series in a widely publicized firing a few years ago is returning to the show. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that Isaiah Washington, who starred as Dr. Preston Burke on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” before he was fired in 2007, will be back on the series.
Washington will guest star in a May episode, returning years after he was "famously fired" following anti-gay remarks about co-star T.R. Knight and fights on the set, the story notes.
His return coincides with the departure of one of the show’s original stars, Sandra Oh, whose character was at one time engaged to Burke. Oh will leave the drama after its current 10th season.
"It’s important to me that Cristina’s journey unfolds exactly as it should," showrunner Shonda Rhimes said in a statement. "Burke is vital to that journey — he gives her story that full-circle moment we need to properly say goodbye to our beloved Cristina Yang."
Burke’s character left the show after he stood up Oh’s character on their wedding day.
In a statement, LGBT rights group GLAAD said Washington’s statements promoting marriage equality and a PSA “have sent a strong message of support for LGBT people.” It added, “We look forward to seeing him return to one of our favorite shows.”