Entertainment Weekly's resident "Master of Television," Michael Ausiello, has his first cover story this week and it's a great one: an interview with T.R. Knight that provides insight on his departure from Grey's Anatomy.
This fall, Knight was surprised to see his character George O’Malley all but vanish from the show -- for the first nine episodes of season 5, he appeared on screen a total of only 48 minutes, compared to 114 for Sandra Oh’s Christina. Still, due to what he calls a gradual “breakdown of communication” between himself and exec producer Shonda Rhimes, the actor chose not to ask his boss what was going on with his character. Instead, he simply asked to leave. "My five-year experience proved to me that I could not trust any answer that was given [about George]," he explains. "And with respect, I'm going to leave it at that."
Though he was unknown when Grey's premiered, Knight soon emerged as one of the breakout stars (and even earned a supporting actor Emmy nod in 2007), but it was what came to be known as "Isaiahgate" that would catapult him to household-name status. After Isaiah Washington referred to Knight as a "f----t" during an on-set argument with co-star Patrick Dempsey, the tabloids caught wind of it, Knight came out in the press, and Washington was fired. While Knight doesn’t specifically fault Rhimes for how the situation was handled behind the scenes, he says the exec producer was among those who tried to discourage him from coming out: "I think she was concerned about having my statement come out so close to the [initial] event." Rhimes denies this: "I said, 'If you want to come out, that's awesome.'"
The issue comes out tomorrow, so if you're not one of the lucky subscribers who will find T.R.'s adorable mug in their mailboxes, be sure to rush out to the nearest newsstand to grab a copy!