Trouble on the set became public in October 2006 when Isaiah Washington reportedly insulted costar T.R. Knight because of his sexual orientation. The incident caused a media frenzy and Washington lost his job over the remarks. Two years later, actress Brooke Smith, who played lesbian Dr. Erica Hahn was also let go, with rumors that the show wanted to move away from gay plot lines. By 2009, Knight asked to leave the show and his character was killed off at the end of Season 5. His costar and fellow original cast member Katherine Heigl exited in early 2010. The show hasn't weathered the storm of controversy without some loss in viewership, but overall the show retained healthy ratings.
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