Former 'Grey's Anatomy' star Isaiah Washington said he grew up with members of the KKK: 'I showed them love and respect'

Isaiah Washington
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  • Isaiah Washington said on Facebook that some of his "best elementary school teachers" were members of the KKK.

  • He also said his "neighbors" in Texas were too, and that he'd play with their children.

  • Washington wondered if some of those people follow his career because he showed them "love."

Former "Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington said in a post on his official Facebook page that some of the "best elementary school teachers" and "neighbors" he grew up with in Houston, Texas, were members of the white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan.

In the post, shared on Sunday, the actor recalled playing with their kids, though he said clear "boundaries" were set on both sides. For example, Washington said he couldn't drink from those KKK members' outdoor water hoses or come into their homes to eat. Washington's mother, however, would let kids of KKK members eat inside her house and  "drink from our vintage JFK water glasses."

The "P-Valley" star went on to say that he wondered if some of the children he played with were "vigorously" supporting his acting career today because he showed them "love and respect as a true Texan and a true American," even when their parents refused to let the children do the same for him in public.

Insider has reached out to Washington for comment.

Isaiah Washington

Washington played Dr. Preston Burke on "Grey's Anatomy" from 2005 to 2007 before he was fired from the show for referring to his costar T.R Knight, who later came out as gay, with a homophobic slur during a physical altercation on set.

Since being fired from the show, Washington has made several claims about the hit series and his co-stars.

According to Lynette Rice's book, "How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey's Anatomy," Washington had originally been considered for the role of Dr. Derek Shepherd opposite Ellen Pompeo's Dr. Meredith Grey, but said Pompeo felt "uncomfortable" with having him as a love interest because her then-boyfriend (now husband) Chris Ivery was also a Black man.

As Pompeo explained to the New York Post in 2013, "You know they wanted Isaiah Washington to be my boyfriend. Shonda really wanted to put a Black man in the mix. I didn't think they were really going to put an interracial couple on the show and I didn't want him. It was too close to home."

t.r. knight/isaiah washington
Isaiah Washington with "Grey's Anatomy" co-star T.R. Knight.Matt Sayles/AP

In an October 2021 appearance on "The Tavis Smiley Show," Washington called Patrick Dempsey a "total tyrant" and claimed that Pompeo accepted "$5 million dollars under the table" to keep quiet about Dempsey's "toxic and nasty" behavior on set.

In 2022, he also spoke out about his "Romeo Must Die" co-star, the late singer Aaliyah. In an interview with Vlad TV,  Washington said that the pop star, who married R. Kelly when she was 15 and Kelly was 27, was "in control of the situation even at her age."

"She was 15 going on 30, so she was in control of that whole situation," he said. "I don't judge her, but she was very smart and very mature and very in control of her situation. I don't believe one minute that Aaliyah was made to do anything that Aaliyah didn't want to do."

Washington announced his intention to retire from acting in early 2023, only to launch a GoFundMe page to try and crowdfund a million-dollar movie project days later.

Read the original article on Insider