Isaiah Washington will not return to ABC’s award-winning medical drama,  “Grey’s Anatomy“. After months of speculation about the actor’s future on the hit show, ABC Studios announced it would not renew his contract for the fourth season. Howard Bragman, Washington’s publicist, confirmed that series creator and executive producer, Shonda Rhimes, made the call to inform the star.

Last October, Washington, who played Dr. Preston Burke, came under public scrutiny for using a homophobic slur in reference to costar T.R. Knight. After making headlines, Washington issued a formal public apology and sought counseling. He also appeared in public service announcements on behalf of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which denounce hate speech.
Backstage at this year’s Golden Globe Awards, Washington made a futile attempt to diffuse the situation when he told a member of the press who questioned him about the accusations, “No I did not call T.R. a f—–. It never happened.” Reportedly, the actor also had strained relations with another castmate, Patrick “Dr. McDreamy” Dempsey.

ABC seems to have prepared for the exit of Washington’s character. In the third season’s finale, Dr. Burke played the runaway groom, calling off his wedding to his indecisive bride-to-be, Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), at the last minute, removing his belongings from their apartment, and apparently hitting the road. Fans were left speculating whether or not he would return.

But the star of such films as “Love Jones” and “Exit Wounds” may not be walking away quietly, reportedly issuing the following statement: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” Sources claim ABC has met with actors Bill Bellamy, Boris Kodjoe and Eriq La Salle about the possibility of one of them joining the cast.