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Isaiah Washington’s Dr. Burke is returning to 'Grey's Anatomy'

Isaiah Washington to reprise role of Preston Burke for 'Grey's Anatomy'
Photo by Desiree Navarro/Getty Images

‘Grey's Anatomy’ is bringing back Isaiah Washington, one of the show’s original cast members and one of its most controversial. According to the Hollywood Reporter on March 6, the actor will reprise the role of Dr. Preston Burke for a May episode, just in time to the series and fans to say goodbye to Cristina Yang as played by Sandra Oh, another original cast member, who will be departing the series at the end of season 10.

It was seven years ago that Washington was fired from the show after he was involved in on-set clashes with co-star T.R. Knight and after Washington made anti-gay remarks directed at Knight.

Showrunner Shonda Rhimes says that bring the character of Burke back is integral to making sure Cristina’s journey runs its full course. The two had a deeply emotional relationship in the early seasons and were at one point engaged to one another.

"Burke is vital to that journey -- he gives her story that full-circle moment we need to properly say goodbye to our beloved Cristina Yang," Rhimes said.

His ousting from the show took its toll on his career. He just returned to series work last year with a role The CW's The 100, his first series regular role since he left Grey's.

The controversial remarks drew the anger of the LGBT community as well as Rhimes who is LGBT-friendly. As a result, Washing made an apology, saying his behavior was "unacceptable in any context’ and he commended Knight for the courage he displayed when the situation forced him to come out.

No date for the episode was released and no details of the storyline have been shared at this point.

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

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