Washington was dismissed by bosses at TV network ABC earlier this summer--seven months after the behind-the-scenes fracas with costar Patrick Dempsey hit the headlines, prompting another costar, T.R. Knight, to 'come out' as a homosexual.
Washington publicly apologized for his comment and met with gay leaders to seek forgiveness--but it wasn't enough for him to keep his job.
NBC executive producer David Eick says, "We believe in second chances. We embrace the gay community and hope they will watch."
He adds, "I guess that I still abide by the credo that no publicity is bad publicity and for every person that doesn't watch the show because they're sensitive to the controversy I figure that we'll get two who will because they're curious.
"Eventually there will be a new scandal and no one will be thinking of this."
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