“He’s a wonderful actor … and he became available,” Silverman said. “I started talking to him before he was available. … I didn’t have any idea — when he told me he was available, I was like ‘What? I don’t understand. You’re a star on a huge TV show.’ I didn’t quite understand what was going on there.” Silverman was referring to the now-famous incident in which Washington used a homophobic slur during an argument with fellow Grey’s Anatomy cast mate Patrick Dempsey. Under intense pressure, Washington later apologized and even made a public service announcement warning others of the power of words. But, his contract was not renewed, leaving him free to join the cast of Bionic Woman.
Silverman believes that Washington’s acting ability speaks for itself, and viewers will become so involved with his character on the show that they’ll be able to leave the controversy behind. “The bottom line is he’s a wonderful actor . . . [and] that’s what I think people will respond to,” he said.