Grey's Anatomy fans will remember Isaiah Washington's famous role as Dr. Preston Burke on the popular ABC series. Some will also not forget his controversial exit, but now he's got his very own show! The actor just signed a new deal with FOX Nation for Isaiah Washington: Kitchen Talk, which premiered Monday. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Washington got candid about the challenges in the show's conception, admitting he's on Hollywood's "so-called blacklist."
"This has been my vision for, I will say four years now," the 56-year-old responded when asked how the show came about. "I had been trying with no success out of two agencies and two management companies — well, three management companies — and a lawyer to pitch this idea through the traditional Hollywood system. Got absolutely no interest." The new show is now streaming on FOX Nation, Fox News Channel's subscription-based streaming service, and follows Washington up and down the California coast as he visits the homes of various celebrities, along with everyday Americans, as they cook their favorite dishes. Not only that, he learns the stories that each guest holds as they share good conversation over a fabulous meal.
"I always said that I would like to get this show done because I remember [traveling] around the world, even when I was in Turkey — couldn't speak the same language — we were always able to communicate and feel the love through the food," he explained, adding that food always becomes a common ground for people no matter their background.
Washington not only starring in but owning his show is a pretty big deal to him. After voting for former President Barack Obama twice, and growing up a Democrat, he recently came out and said that he's a Trump supporter stating he's for policy over the person. As he mentions in the interview, Hollywood is filled with more Democrats than Republicans, so when he took a stand against the Democratic party, that didn't go over well with Hollywood.
"Oh, absolutely," he said when asked if he feels coming out as a Trump supporter has hindered opportunities in Hollywood for him. "I'm on their so-called blacklist, but it never stopped me from working because I was still respected in the world. And that is the arrogance of this one-horse town called 'Holly-weird.' The assumption is, 'If I kick you out of my sandlot, you will die on the vine.' Well, obviously, that's not [the case] because I'm talking to you about a show that I own."
"A show, a wonderful concept, my whole thing is: What about my talent? What's with all the personal issues? You're supposed to be the most tolerant city in the world, but yet you have zero tolerance unless it's your way or the highway," he continued. "And that's for women, that's for men, that's for gay women, that's for straight men. It's like, who are you to be these dictators of how people should live and think? And also ironically, or systematically, happen to also be liberal or democrat?"
In the midst of being shunned, Fox swooped in and picked his idea up, and now he just hopes to continue the journey celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain started. "I want to pick up where Anthony Bourdain left off. I miss him so much, and I was so inspired by his beauty, his love. [...] I really feel that this Kitchen Talk concept can provide a lot of healing, a lot of love, a lot of great food, a lot of recipes, a lot of great pairings of wines with certain foods. It's endless. I really believe I can do this until I don't want to do it anymore. I really love doing it."