African-American actor Isaiah Washington lost his lucrative and popular role on the ABC drama “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2007. Washington was fired for using an anti-gay slur during an argument with one of the show’s cast members.

Washington is returning at the same time original cast member Sandra Oh, who plays Dr. Christina Yang, is leaving the show. His role as Dr. Preston Burke will be reprised for one episode in May. “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rimes described the actor’s return as a necessary addition to the history of the lead character Meredith Grey’s life.

Rhimes told Variety magazine, “It’s important to me that Christina’s journey unfolds exactly as it should … Burke is vital to that journey.”

The specific date of Washingon’s guest appearance on a show for which he was once an indispensable part of the storyline has not been announced, but it is certain the show will air in May.

Washington was also heard using an anti-gay slur at the 2007 Golden Globes, and since then, he has worked to mend his career by meeting with gay rights groups. Variety also stated that since departing “Grey’s Anatomy,” Washington has worked on films including “Blue Caprice” and “Go for Sisters.” He also appears in the new CW show “The 100.”