Isaiah Washington is to return to medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, seven years after he was fired from the show.
Isaiah Washington, 50, who played heart surgeon Preston Burke during the first three seasons, was axed after he used a homophobic slur during an on-set altercation.
The actor will make a guest appearance to coincide with the departure of series regular Sandra Oh, his former on-screen love interest.
The episode will be screened in the US in May.
Series creator Shonda Rhimes said Isaiah Washington’s return was integral to Cristina Yang’s storyline.
Isaiah Washington was one of the original stars of Grey’s Anatomy, but his contract was not renewed after he used the anti-gay slur during an argument with co-star Patrick Dempsey.
Soon after, fellow cast member TR Knight revealed he was gay and said he was offended by what the actor had said.
Isaiah Washington then further angered network bosses by repeating the slur backstage at the Golden Globes while denying he had said it.
The actor later apologized for his comments, saying it was “unacceptable in any context or circumstance”. He received counseling and met with gay rights groups to discuss ways to address homophobia.
After his controversial exit from Grey’s Anatomy, Isaiah Washington struggled to find continuous work and mainly landed bit parts in television shows including Law & Order: LA and the re-make of Bionic Woman which was cancelled mid-way through its first series.
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