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Grey's Anatomy star meets with youth group over
antigay slur

Grey's Anatomy star meets with youth group over
antigay slur

Grey's Anatomy star Isaiah Washington, under fire for using a gay slur in referring to a costar, met Monday with gay rights activists who said he agreed to help educate the public about the cruelty of such language. ''He seemed very sincere in his interest in working with us in an ongoing basis,'' said Kevin Jennings, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network. ''We emphasized that this is not a one-shot deal but an ongoing thing. He was very open to doing this.''

The star of the hit ABC medical drama met with Jennings, who spoke after the private meeting, and Neil G. Giuliano, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. A call to Washington's publicist for comment was not immediately returned Monday.

According to Jennings, Washington said he wanted to explore ways to work with GLSEN to address issues of ''name-calling and how he might use his various platforms to educate people about how painful and wrong it is.''

By coincidence, Jennings noted, Monday was the start of No Name-Calling Week, coordinated by GLSEN with national educational partners to help schools find ways to eliminate bullying and slurs of all kinds. His group welcomed Washington's help in promoting the group's agenda, Jennings said.

Washington, himself a father, said he understands how the issue affects young people, Jennings said.

Washington, who stepped away from filming for the hour-long meeting, said he is interested in pursuing various options, such as public service announcements, according to Jennings. No firm agreements were reached, the GLSEN director said. ''I think this is a very good first step toward his showing he really wants to do something. We take him at his word,'' Jennings said.

Last October it was reported that Washington used the term ''faggot'' to refer to cast mate T.R. Knight during an on-set argument with costar Patrick Dempsey. He used it again backstage at the January 15 Golden Globes as he denied ever uttering it.

Washington issued an apology after he was publicly criticized by GLAAD and chastised by ABC.

Grey's Anatomy led nominees announced Sunday for the 18th annual GLAAD Media Awards, recognizing ''mainstream media for their fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and and the issues that affect their lives.''

Interestingly, Washington played one half of a gay couple in the 1996 film Get on the Bus. (AP)

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