With it's matter-of-fact approach to cultural diversity, Isaiah says Grey's Anatomy has been a powerful force for television. Nearly half the regular cast members are minorities. "I look at our show as that culmination, literally, of [Martin Luther King's] 'I Have a Dream' speech," he says. "Really, that's how I look at it. Because no one has ever walked up to me and said, 'Yo, bro' ... They say, 'Mr. Washington, I love Dr. Burke.' And they've never questioned my race."

Ambassador Andrew Young, a major force in the Civil Rights Movement, was present when Dr. King delivered that speech—and he also happens to be a fan of Grey's Anatomy. "What you all have done with this whole concept is to humanize where we are now—particularly in hospitals—that's where people are real," says Ambassador Young. "And you get real stories and you tell them well."