"Hey it’s Grey’s day!!!" the 51-year-old posted the GIF on Twitter of Heigl’s character, Izzi, telling Pompeo’s character Meredith, “Dude, she went all cage fight on you.”
Fans couldn’t get enough of the sweet friendship and speculated that Pompeo was dropping a hint that Heigl’s character would make a surprise appearance on the series — just like Patrick Dempsey did last week. One person wrote, "IZZIE COMING BACK TONIGHT??? WITH ALEX????" while another echoed, "COME BACK IZZIE STEVENS." A third user added, "Is this a spoiler of what (or who) we could expect to see tonight??? I’M SO EXCITED FOR THIS EPISODE!!"
Earlier this week, Washington, 57 — who portrayed Preston Burke on the ABC show — slammed Heigl, 41, via Twitter.
"This woman once proclaimed that I should ‘never’ be allowed to speak publicly again," he wrote. "The world agreed with her proclamation back then and protested for my job and head in 65 languages. I wish I was on Twitter in 2007, because I will NEVER stop exercising my free speech."
This woman once proclaimed that I should ‘never’ be allowed to speak publicly again. The world agreed with her proclamation back then and protested for my job and my head in 65 languages. I wish I was on Twitter in 2007, because I will NEVER stop exercising my free speech. pic.twitter.com/fQ6L1zfQRR— The Tweet Sniper💥 (@IWashington) November 16, 2020
In 2006, rumors swirled that Washington used a homophobic slur while fighting with Dempsey on set. Many people thought the blow-up was aimed at T.R. Knight’s sexuality. Knight — who played George O’Malley on the show — revealed in January 2007 that after Washington said "f***t," it helped him come out as a gay man.
While being interviewed at the Golden Globes in 2007, Washington denied that was the word he used.
Following the drama, Heigl told Access Hollywood that Washington "needs to just not speak in public, period."
"I’m sorry, that did not need to be said, I’m not okay with it. I just feel like this is something that should be very much in-house we need to deal with," she added. "T.R. is my best friend. I will throw down for that kid."
In June 2007, ABC confirmed that Washington would not appear on season 4 of Grey’s Anatomy. One month later, Washington admitted he did use the slur during the heated exchange with Dempsey, 54.
"I said, ‘I don’t need Ellen, I can act,’" he said on Larry King Live. "And that was the moment that sent it into a different zone. Dempsey became unhinged, sprayed spittle in my face. … I said several bad words. ‘There’s no way you’re going to treat me like the B-word, the P-word or the F-word.’ … I am not homophobic — in no way, shape or form."
In 2014, Washington finished his role on the medical drama, but Knight left in 2009, while Heigl departed in 2010 after six seasons.
Meanwhile, Pompeo never spoke about the incident but revealed she didn't want Washington to portray her boyfriend on the show. "Shonda really wanted to put a Black man in the mix," she told The New York Post in 2013. "I didn’t think they were really going to put an interracial couple on the show and I didn’t want him. It was too close to home."
“I said I wanted that Dempsey kid. I think that once Isaiah did not get the role it backfired,” she added.