Former Grey’s Anatomy star T.R. Knight is opening up about his departure from ABC’s hit medical drama, telling Entertainment Weekly he saw no future for Dr. George O’Malley, the lovable resident he played for five seasons.
Knight says his screen time dropped so much by season 5 that he chose to leave the show rather than seek an answer — something he says was hard to come by.
“My five-year experience proved to me that I could not trust any answer that was given [about George],” he tells the magazine. “There just comes a time when it’s so clear that moving on is the best decision.”
Costar Katherine Heigl initially disagreed with her friend.
“I didn’t think it was the right decision,” she says. “I felt like some of the problems could be worked through. But by the time it came to fruition, I was [glad] for him because he was ready to go.”
Knight also addresses the dismissal of former costar Isaiah Washington, who used a gay slur in an infamous incident on the set of the show, saying the controversy that followed created tension with Grey’s executive producer Shonda Rhimes.
Knight came out shortly after.
“I think she was concerned about having my statement come out so close to the [initial] event,” Knight says of Rhimes, who he says discouraged him from coming out.
Rhimes denies this, telling EW, “I said, ‘If you want to come out, that’s awesome.’”
While Knight leaves behind a top 10 show and a $14 million contract, he says the move is best for his career.
“From an outsider’s perspective, I get the ‘He’s just a spoiled actor … he doesn’t know how good he has it,’” he says. “There are a lot of people who would like to be in my position. But in the end, I need to be fulfilled in my work.”