ABC ran this public service announcement during two back-to-back episodes of "Grey's Anatomy" in May of 2007, in response to actor Isaiah Washington's use of an anti-gay slur in reference to his "Grey's" co-star T.R. Knight. Knight came out as gay soon afterward.
This PSA is the result of a meeting with Neil G. Giuliano, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and Kevin Jennings, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). At the meeting, Washington acknowledged the harm he had caused, and decided to work to combat prejudice and intolerance towards the LGBT community. As Giuliano said, “Words have power, and far too often we see them used to dehumanize people because of our differences. When Isaiah Washington lends his voice to that message — when he acknowledges the personal responsibility that he and each of us have to create a culture that rejects prejudice — it advances the kind of dialogue that’s absolutely essential to changing hearts and minds. We are gratified that with this PSA, ABC will be sharing this vital message with millions of viewers in the days and weeks to come.”
The script for Washington's PSA reads: “Words have power. The power to express love, happiness and joy. They also have the power to heal. When you use words that demean a person because of their sexual orientation, race or gender, you send a message of hate. A very powerful message. But we all have the power to demand better from one another and from ourselves. We have the power to heal and change the world by the words we use.”
For more information on GLAAD and GLSEN, please visit www.glaad.org and www.glsen.org.