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Actor Isaiah Washington Announces Early Retirement In Bizarre Twitter Rant About 'Communism'

The actor, who was famously fired from 'Grey's Anatomy' in 2007 for hurling a gay slur at co-star T.R. Knight, credited the 'haters' for his decision.

Isaiah washington
Kevin Winter/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

Former Grey's Anatomy actor Isaiah Washington announced he was quitting acting for good in a bizarre rant on Twitter.

Washington was famously fired in 2007 during the medical drama's third season after he allegedly called his co-star T. R. Knight a homophobic slur while arguing with the show's star Patrick Dempsey.

When news of the backstage controversy came to light, Knight–who was not present during the argument between Washington and Dempsey–publicly came out as gay.

Washington was subsequently dropped from the show on June 7, 2007 after having originated and played the role of cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Preston Burke for the first three seasons.

After attempts to preserve his image in interviews with statements of apology and trying to clear up conflicting accounts about what went down, he claimed racism was a factor in ABC's decision to fire him.

Last Tuesday, Washington took to Twitter and went off on a political diatribe while announcing his retirement from acting.

"It is with a heavy heart and a sense of relief that I am announcing my early retirement from the entertainment industry today," he began.

"Those who have been Following/Witnessing my journey here on Twatter since 2011 all know that I have fought the good fight, but it seems that the haters, provocateurs and the Useful Idiots have won."
"I’m no longer interested in the back and forth regarding a ‘color construct’ that keeps us human beings divided nor am I interested in politics or anything vitriolic."

He continued:

"I will be traveling this great country before it falls into Socialism and then Communism."
"Until then, know that this Frederick Douglass Conservative will keep his powder dry and loves you all! I am truly grateful for your support over the years."

The Huffington Post suggested Washington labeling himself as a “Frederick Douglass Conservative" was an example of conservatives co-opting the abolitionist movement leader as a Republican.

His stance became even more confusing when he responded to a follower who pleaded with him to reconsider because "without conservatives like you the crazies in Hollywood would win."

To which he responded:

"Everything isn't what it seems."

Washington concluded his original post by informing followers his 2022 directorial debut movie Corsicana—about a former slave who becomes one of the first Black deputy U.S. marshals in the country—was likely his last acting appearance.

"It looks like CORSICANA #CorsicanaMovie may be the last time you see me as an Actor born here in America."
"Just know that I will be posting a few pictures of my retirement shenanigans here and there, but until then. Be safe out there."
"Your loved ones love you and need you. SALUTE!"

Fans disheartened by the news were sad to see him go.

While unsympathetic individuals were happy to see Washington show himself out.

Some were confused by his retirement announcement as they didn't recall seeing the actor in anything notable as of late.

Washington had appearances in The 100 and P-Valley.

But not so fast.

In a record-scratch moment, the "former" actor announced his next project, revealing he was never ready to quit.

A day after announcing his retirement, Washington asked for donations through a GoFundMe page called "Bass Reeves Movie Project 2023."

On the page, the actor shared plans for an upcoming entertainment business venture of his own.

"After seeing the incredible positive response to my recent announcement of retirement from the entertainment industry on social media, it became clear that I have been operating outside of the traditional Hollywood system successfully for the last 15 years."
"So, why stop now with over 5 million views and counting with my February 28, 2023 Twitter post?"
"It seems that if I received just $1.00 from 5 million people, then I will have more than enough capital to continue to independently produce my own Bass Reeves movie project for a Fall 2023 shooting schedule in Arkansas and Oklahoma."

Earlier in his acting career, Washington often collaborated with director Spike Lee and appeared in his films Crooklyn, Clockers, Girl 6 and Get on the Bus.

But Washington rose to prominence for his work on Grey's which earned him two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series.

After his firing from the show, ABC brought Washington back for a cameo during Grey's 10th season as part of a farewell story arc concerning his character's love interest, Cristina Yang, played by Sandra Oh.

It appears he's not quite ready to leave Tinseltown for good but has been clearly wanting to get something off his chest.

Or maybe he wanted a lot of attention before he shared his GoFundMe.