Monday, July 21, 2008

Why Grey's Anatomy Creater Shona Rhimes Deserved To Get Burned By Series Star Katherine Heigl

I don't watch Grey's Anatomy. I just not interested in shows like that. I was happy for it's creator, producer, and writer, Shona Rhimes, because so few African Americans have their shows produced, particularly ones that are not just based on African Americans.

I was majorly disappointed when she allowed herself to become a hatchet woman for her show's network (ABC) in the Isaiah Washington debacle. She was the one that told him he was fired from the show after he spent months groveling, apologizing, and being publicly criticized for anti-gay comments.

One of the biggest reasons Washington got fired was his co-star Katherine Heigl. She never would shut-up about Washington's remarks even though she was not involved in the incident or the fact that the show's producers were handling the situation. Even after Washington apologized to her directly, (why he did that, I still don't know) she still didn't shut up.

Recently, Heigl turned on Rhimes and the writers of the show by implying that the writing for the last season was not up to previous season's standards. Now, Heigl who was a complete unknown when the series started and won an Emmy award for her work on the show is suddenly biting the hand that has been feeding her over-rated behind.

Considering that Rhimes has done everything to make Heigl's name and has supported her budding (god knows why) big screen career, you would think she would feel a little betrayed by Heigl's comments. Yet, not Ms. Rhimes. When Rhimes was asked to comment she began two-stepping so quick that all I could wonder was you have a major hit television show and you can't even gently take to task one cast member for criticizing you and your writers?

The truth of the matter is Rhimes got what she deserved from Heigl. Rhimes didn't fight for Washington, knowing damn well if top white male series star Patrick Dempsey had made the same remarks, no one at the network would have dared fire him and Heigl would have never opened her mouth to criticize a fellow white actor. Rhimes allowed a double standard to continue on her own series because she was afraid to challenge her own clearly shaky standing in Hollywood.

Maybe Rhimes will quietly redeem herself by writing Heigl's ass off the show. Heigl thinks she's a star now and she wants out of her show contract. Rhimes should oblige her. I love when TV stars want to jump to the big screen and fall on their faces, Rhimes should let Heigl discover what David Caruso, NYPD Blue and David Duchovny, The X Files learned when they jumped ship from their hit TV shows for the big screen.


roslynholcomb July 21, 2008 at 9:29 AM  

Personally, I think the person who wouldn't shut up the most about it was Isaiah himself. After all the clamor had died down, he's the one who resurrected it at the Emmys. I don't watch Grey's Anatomy (or really any TV show besides Monk), so I can't really comment on script quality or anything of the sort.

I do know that at any company in this country people who make comments like that, and especially get into a physical altercation are routinely fired. So I think Washington got what he deserved. As for all the apologies and whatnot, I don't think ABC should've let him go through all that. Clearly the handwriting was on the wall from the jump and he should've just left the show of his own accord.

Heigl wants out, let her go. Ensemble casts routinely survive the loss of one (or more) cast members.

Professor Tracey July 21, 2008 at 9:49 AM  

I gotta disagree with you a bit Roslyn, because if what you say is true, then Patrick Dempsey should have been fired as well. It takes two to tango. He was the one that got in Washington's face.

I worked in Hollywood five years, white actors rarely get fired for "remarks", they may get fired for substance abuse problems after multiple chances like Yancy Butler from Witchblade. Black actors don't have the same chances.

I do agree that he should not have groveled to stay on the show.

roslynholcomb July 21, 2008 at 10:37 AM  

As I understand it, Washington assaulted Dempsey, not the other way around. And actually Washington got in Dempsey's face about being late, so he actually started the altercation.

Professor Tracey July 21, 2008 at 10:51 AM  

As I said before, it takes two to tango. Dempsey was late before and in this particular case, he was late and wanted to delay further. It takes two to argue. If one is wrong, both are wrong. No excuses. Professionalism works both ways.

t.s. johnson July 21, 2008 at 2:27 PM  

@ RoslynComb

Professor Tracey is right on this one. Dempsey kept being late. Washington said something. Dempsey tried to get bad. Washington shut him down.

I was pissed he did the groveling too. But from they way I understood everything he was more or less reassured he'd still have his job if he "did the circuit."

Rhimes is why I have hard time with many Black professionals. She let ABC make her do their dirty work.

Now she's got this Blonde Bitty talking slick about what she does and she's still shucking and jiving. I haven't watched Greys since they fired Washington.

Heigel was on a short lived WB series called Roswell prior to Greys. But Greys was her big break..and she been bitchin' since the show became a certified success.

Until Black folks own their own distribution channels u can bet u will still see this kinda two step action.

Anonymous,  July 21, 2008 at 3:26 PM  

Shonda Rhimes (SR) was protecting her show in both cases. The majority of this situations isn’t what SR did or didn’t do it was about what Isaiah Washington (IW) did. In the aftermath of Imus I don’t want to say “white” people per say but certainly online and tv pundits wanted blood and IW he put himself in this situation. Instead of recognizing the historic events of a black woman having a major network development deal that could have led to many more tv shows (the image of black people ESP.BLACK WOMAN could only benefit) he acted in a manner that jeopardized the whole ship. In fact IW has a history of combative behavior on sets. The network and SR were working on a solution with the the advocate and the leaders in the Gay Community that would have been the best thing. It might even have opened the discussion about homophobia and aids in the black “community”. But IW opened his mouth again. Of all the things he could have said backstage at the Emmys he continued with I didn’t do it. He could have offered a heartfelt apology to T Knight and to gay people at large. He could have meant it as much as Imus meant it. He didn’t play ball the network was going to keep him but the bad publicity was too much. Heigl fanned the flames because it benefited her. A lot of the people who have greenlight power are homosexual. She was seen as a defender of homosexuals and a defender in the face of hypocritical blacks (SR and IW). It was a double play (ok bad sports analogy). Just as IW has a past so does KH. Her and her mother’s behavior on Roswell is not forgotten. As soon as the show became a hit the trio of TK, KH and Patrick Dempsey were disruptive forces on the set with KH and PD having movie star dreams. But a funny thing happened on the way to movie stardom. She criticized the Apatow money train. Even though she was right about the movie knocked up she did the movie anyways. If you go to places like defamer and other movie/gossip sites she is roundly disliked. She is characterized as perpetually biting the hand that feeds. The only audience she has right now is the white female. Her movie made 23 million on opening so she still has life. Her next should open 20 or above. If she keeps her audience she will have a mid star career. But she will never be a Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Sandra Bullock , etc.


roslynholcomb July 21, 2008 at 4:16 PM  

I don't think Washington was fired for lacking professionalism. I think he was fired for assaulting a co-worker. In most places where I've worked when you grab your co-worker you're arrested for assault. Frankly, I think he got off lightly. If there was a problem with Dempsey's work ethic, surely it was the producer's job to reprimand him.

No, I have no problem with Washington being fired. They just should've done it immediately after the incident instead of waiting until the end of the season.

Professor Tracey July 21, 2008 at 6:14 PM  

@Ros -

We can agree to disagree on this one. I hear you though and you have made your point. I always appreciate your voice. True is he landed on his feet and makes more money than he should for what he does. LOL!


Thanks for your comment. Excellent points. Hollywood is always about CYA!

@T.S. -

Great points! You make me laugh too, so thanks for that!

tenacitus July 21, 2008 at 9:19 PM  

If I ever assaulted a coworker my black ass would have been arrested and fired. No one should ever do that

anna.nowo July 22, 2008 at 11:49 PM  

All of this is a hierarchy. Of course you would get arrested and fired, I assume you aren't making the white man a bazillion dollars or have fans that would revolt and cause said company to lose money. It's all about the dollar bills. Seems like Isiah's head was a little big. He thought he was Brad Pitt, who would NOT have been fired. It wouldn't have even left the set, we wouldn't know about it.

Kimmy July 28, 2008 at 3:40 PM  

I have not watched Grey's Anatomy since the firing of Thomas, just because the way the whole thing went down. Katherine Heigl is marginally talented and annoying at best and the emmy was undeserved. Hopefully she will leave the show, her big screen attempts have been flops, so maybe she will dissappear somewhere.

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