Actor Isaiah Washington has lashed out at his former bosses on hit U.S. TV series GREY'S ANATOMY - insisting their decision to write Brooke Smith's character out of the show is "disgusting".
Washington's contract on the ABC medical drama wasn't extended after he used homophobic language during a 2006 on-set row with co-star Patrick Dempsey.
And now he has launched a campaign in defence of Smith after bosses announced her character, who's engaged in a lesbian storyline on the show, would be written out.
He says, "I looked at a brilliant actress, whom I have adored since I first saw her in Silence of the Lambs. For her to be treated this way, I find very interesting.
"The fact is that, just before the holidays, you have a mother, a wonderful actress removed from a steady income without the proper reasoning behind it... You look at the way another consummate professional (is) being treated because her character, her storyline (has) potentially made producers uncomfortable.
"Now that I see what they're doing to a show that I love and I care about, I think it's disgusting. The fact that (creator) Shonda (Rhimes) has been put in this position is extremely unfair. It's unfortunate because it was probably, at the time, the most progressive show on television. Now I see it (being) systematically torn apart."
But despite disagreeing with the show's new direction, Washington admits he's keen to return to the series. Asked if he'd consider reprising his Dr. Preston Burke character, he says, "Absolutely!"