T.R. Knight, and Isaiah Washington, right, from the television series Grey's Anatomy pose for photos in 2006. Washington apologized to Knight in January for using a derogatory term for gays. ((Matt Sayles/Associated Press))

The hit medical drama Grey's Anatomy has been honoured by a gay organization despite the fact one of their lead actors, Isaiah Washington, used a homophobic slur last year.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) held its annual media awards gala on Saturday night and bestowed the show a prize for outstanding individual episode (Where the Boys Are).

The show came under fire last year when reports filtered out from the set that Washington had used a slur to talk about a castmate during an on-set argument. After reports of the on-set spat got out, actor T.R. Knight officially told the world that he was gay.

Then Washington fanned the controversy when he denied that he used the word "faggot" on set during a press conference at the Golden Globes awards show. The 43-year-actor, who portrays Dr. Preston Burke, later apologized and sought counselling.

"I apologize to T.R., my colleagues, the fans of the show, and especially the lesbian and gay community for using a word that is unacceptable in any context or circumstance," Washington said in a statement in January.

GLAAD hands out more than 40 awards every yearrecognizing fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.This year, the awards were split into four ceremonies taking place in four different cities and spread out over a three-month period.

Saturday night's gala was held in Los Angeles and pinpointed those in the entertainment world.Other winners included actress Jennifer Aniston, who received the Vanguard Award for her efforts in boosting the understanding of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

ABC's Brothers & Sisters captured thedrama series category while Ugly Betty took home the trophy for comedy series. Little Miss Sunshine, which featured comedian Steve Carell as a gay Proust scholar, was named best film.

With files from the Associated Press