T.R. Knight reveals to “Entertainment Weekly” why he left “Grey’s Anatomy,” coming out and about “Isaiahgate”
First of all, congrats to Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello for his first Entertainment Weekly cover story! It’s an interview with out actor T.R. Knight who reveals exactly why he decided to leave his role of George O’Malley on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy.
Walking away from a hit show — and a huge paycheck — is a big decision but T.R. says he knew it was time to go:”From an outsider’s point of view, I get [the impression] that ‘He’s just a spoiled actor, he doesn’t know how good he has it.” “There are a lot of people who would like to be in my position. But in the end, I need to be fulfilled in my work — that’s more important than the money.”
Although he had been nominated for an Emmy for his role a few years back, T.R. noticed that his role was diminishing last season. during the first nine episodes he was on screen for a total of 48 minutes. Co-star Sandra Oh, for example, had 114 minutes of screen time.
But his relationship with the show’s executive producer Shondra Rhimes had deteriorated to the point where he didn’t ask her why his role was shrinking – he just asked to leave the show. He explains: “My five-year experience proved to me that I could not trust any answer that was given [about George]. And with respect, I’m going to leave it at that.”
T.R. came out publicly after a well-publicized on-set fight between Patrick Dempsey and former co-star Isaiah Washington who referred to Knight as a “f****t during the ruckus. Knight says Rhimes tried to discourage him from coming out: “I think she was concerned about having my statement come out so close to the [initial] event.
But Rhimes denies this.
T.R.’s co-star and BFF Katherine Heigl at first thought the actor was not making the right decision by leaving: “I felt like some of the problems could be worked through. But by the time it came to fruition, I was [glad] for him because he was ready to go.”