UPDATE, Sept. 15, 7:27 A.M.: Actor-producer Isaiah Washington's schedule changed, preventing him from attending the Long Beach QFilm Festival screening of his film Blackbird, according to the movie's publicist Tim Yates.
The red carpet at the QFilm Festival just got more interesting. Scheduled to make appearances Saturday evening at Long Beach's longest-running LGBTQ-themed film festival is actor Isaiah Washington, who famously joked on the Golden Globes red carpet in 2007, "I love gay. I wanted to be gay. Please let me be gay" in response to reporters asking whether he'd called a fellow Grey's Anatomy cast member a faggot.
Needless to say, the joke did not go over well.
It actually led to allegations Washington used the slur to insult two cast members, T. R. Knight and Patrick Dempsey, claims and counter-claims, apologies and Washington ultimately being dropped from Grey's Anatomy in 2007, although he did come back this past March as part of the farewell storyline for Sandra Oh's character.
Washington will appear at The Center, Long Beach's LGBTQ resource, before the Art Theatre screening of Blackbird at 9:15 p.m. Saturday, and then stick around after to participate in the audience Q&A for the film, according to Ron Sylvester, The Center's president and chairman.
Blackbird is about a gay teen singer (Julian Walker) struggling with his sexuality and the treatment of others in a small Southern Baptist community. To his credit, Washington does not view his role–as Walker's supportive father and opposite Mo'Nique as the mother in the first picture she shot after winning the Oscar for Precious–as a quick indie addition to his impressive list of acting credits. Washington produced Blackbird with director Patrik-Ian Polk, who co-wrote the script that was adapted from the novel by Larry Duplechan.
The Center is at 2017 E. 4th St., Long Beach, and the Art Theatre is next door. Visit qfilmslongbeach.com for ticket info.