Isaiah Washington to return to Grey’s Anatomy after gay slur row

Following a seven-year absence from the hit medical drama, Washington will reprise his role as Dr Preston Burke in an episode set to air in the US in May

Every die-hard Grey’s Anatomy fan remembers the last time we saw – or didn’t see – Dr Preston Burke. He left his co-worker and fiancée Cristina Yang at the altar in spectacular fashion, and our collective hearts broke for her. 


That was the hastily written plot twist designed to deal with actor Isaiah Washington’s departure from the show under a cloud after he allegedly used a gay slur against co-star TR Knight during an argument with Patrick Dempsey.

Seven years later, though, and Washington is set to reprise his role as Dr Burke one last time.

Sandra Oh, who plays Burke’s jilted fiancée, leaves the show at the end of the season, so Washington’s return will help tie up loose ends between the characters.

”It’s important to me that Cristina’s journey unfolds exactly as it should,” said Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes 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.”

Rhimes has yet to release the exact details of Washington’s future appearance, but knowing the show’s dramatic history (ie. a bomb in a body cavity, a plane crash, a hospital-wide shooting), not to mention Washington’s, it’s safe to say he won’t be coming back quietly.