Denzel Washington: ‘For whatever reason, I never befriended any white actors’

You know what’s surprising? Denzel Washington’s complete lack of an Oscar campaign this year. Denzel was nominated for Best Actor this year for his performance as a substance-abusing airline pilot in Flight, his first Oscar nomination since he won his second Oscar in 2002 for Training Day. Eleven years without a nomination… you’d think that Denzel would be engaged in at least an undercover Oscar campaign, but it’s almost like he’s been sitting this one out. Maybe he just thinks it’s time for the other actors to do the hustlin’. Maybe he doesn’t need the accolades at this point. I don’t know. What I do know is that he has a new interview in The Guardian, and it’s pretty much the first thing I’ve read about him in two months. It’s actually a really good piece – The Guardian can be kind of judgy and patronizing, especially towards American celebrities, but I think the interviewer liked Denzel, and Denzel was in the mood to talk. And talk and talk. Some highlights:

The first & last time he drank on the job: “I did a movie in London in the 80s, For Queen and Country, and there was a scene where we had to drink. So me and this other young actor said: ‘Man, let’s really drink.’ We had some scotch and thought we were playing it pretty cool. And the director said: ‘What’s wrong with you guys?’ We thought we were wild but we were really just dull. The director was pissed off and it taught me a lesson. That was the last time I ever drank while working. Because it doesn’t work. I’ve worked with actors who’ve crossed that line and it’s just not worth it. You think you’re giving 100%, but all the while your level is dropping.”

He became an actor by prophecy: “Acting was my calling,” he says today. “The year I started acting there was a woman in my mother’s beauty shop, a kind of seer if you like, who kept looking at me in the mirror. Finally she got a piece of paper and wrote ‘prophecy’ at the top. She said: ‘You are going to travel the world and preach to millions of people.’ Now, bear in mind that I’d just been kicked out of school. I said: ‘You see anything there about me being let back into school?’” He chuckles. “That was March 75 and September 75 I started acting. I still got that piece of paper too.”

His father was a Pentecostal preacher, and Denzel has returned to the Pentecostal church: The actor was raised in a religious household, strayed briefly in his youth and is now firmly back on side. In 1995 he donated $2.5m to help build a Pentecostal cathedral near his Los Angeles home. Regular attendees include Magic Johnson, Stevie Wonder and Washington himself.

He wonders if he should preach: “I remember some years ago asking my pastor: ‘Do you think I’m supposed to be a preacher?’ And he said: ‘Well, you are. You have a pulpit of your own.’ That’s not to say that I’m preaching, necessarily. I don’t want to tell you what you need to do. I mean, I’m not turning it up to 10 when it comes to being correct, I’m not that guy, I like my wine.”

Playing a character in Flight who calls on God for help: “That’s right,” says Washington. “But by that point he’s got nowhere to hide. It’s like what’s going on with this Lance Armstrong stuff now. The jig is up. And that line ‘God help me’ was very important to me. As an arc as much as anything. You see this butt-naked, coke-sniffing, weed-smoking guy finally get to the point where he can say: ‘God help me.’ He gets his life back.”

He doesn’t have friends within the industry: An upright, Christian movie star must be something of a rarity in the modern-day Gomorrah of Beverly Hills and he shrugs and frowns and insists that I’m confusing the town of Los Angeles with the industry itself. “But actually, even within the industry, I don’t have any actor friends,” he concedes. “My friends are old friends. One’s an ex-music guy, the other’s a restaurant owner and the other’s an ex-pro ballplayer.” Why hasn’t he made any actor friends? Washington chortles. “Because I don’t make friends! Maybe I’m not a butt-kisser, maybe I’m not a schmoozer. I’m not about to go to a party to try to get a job. And then when you have children, the other friends become other parents. We’d coach baseball or basketball. My wife and I were raised right. I don’t want movie-star friends. And… being African American, there were no big movie stars to hang out with anyway, not when I was starting out, they were just the third guy from the back! For whatever reason, I never befriended any white actors.”

He’s a working actor, not a celebrity: “I had one six-month period in 1982 when I couldn’t get a job. I had done a movie called Carbon Copy and then I did a play and then I had these six months where nothing happened, where I started looking at the department of recreation and thinking: ‘Acting’s not for me.’ And then I caught a play about Malcolm X, off-off-Broadway in New York and I haven’t been unemployed ever since. I’m a working actor! What’s a celebrity anyway? Paris Hilton’s a celebrity. I’m just a working actor.”

[From The Guardian]

See? Denzel was really talkative and not grumpy at all, which seems unusual these days. I guess we should talk about “For whatever reason, I never befriended any white actors”…? I don’t know, I feel like he was just shooting the sh-t and he might not have meant that at face value. Denzel has a lot of “professional friends” and work acquaintances who adore him. Tom Hanks thinks he’s the bee’s knees. Julia Roberts is crazy about him. He’s tight with Spike Lee too. See? He has friends in the industry. But I understand what he’s saying about “when you have children, the other friends become other parents.”

Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

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206 Responses to “Denzel Washington: ‘For whatever reason, I never befriended any white actors’”

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  1. T.Fanty says:

    I love him. He just seems no B-S.

  2. gee says:

    I don’t really see a problem with the quote. He didn’t say white people, just white actors. And some people keep small circles.

    • T.C. says:

      +1

      He’s friends with his kids friends and considers his fellow actors colleagues not friends. I get it. Don’t find it offensive at all. Had a long working relationship with Tony Scott which he didn’t milk for sympathy after his death, has Sly Stallone as his neighbor, he invited over when Mandela was visiting. And many other industry connections with Whites and Blacks.

    • Porkchop says:

      I agree, but what if Tom Hanks said “For whatever reason, I never befriended any black actors.”

      People would freak out. The numbers make Denzel’s statement odd to me. Of all the white actors he’s worked with, he didn’t befriend one?

      Or is that just a dig at Julia Roberts?

      • MW says:

        I agree with you Porkchop. The headlines would be screaming all over the world if Tom Hanks had said he never befriended any black actors. It would absolutely be classified as “racist and dispicable” and so on and so forth. I do not find the statement offensive, I just find it annoying and unnecessary, and typical of today, where race HAS to be brought up at the drop of a hat, usually for the most tenuous of reasons. I think it is beneath what I thought Denzel Washington was all about, for finding it necessary to say that at all. JMHO.

      • cs says:

        I agree with you. But, I also think which white actors would say it. I think if it had been a Robert DeNiro in the same context no one would blink an eye.

        It reminds me of the Heidi Klum hair drama with her kids. She said, it was hard dealing with her children hair texture, she wasn’t use to that texture. The black media applauded her honesty. However, Brad Pitt said the same thing about Zahara when her hair started changing its texture and he was criticize for being uninformed, racist and shouldn’t have adopted a African baby. There was even an article about it in Time or Newsweek Magazine.

      • holly hobby says:

        I read on another board yesterday that that quote was misconstrued. The author conveniently dropped his second half of the sentence except, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Mel Gibson etc. Do a search online. It’s there. I guess they want to sell papers so they deliberately made that sentence into a racial one.

      • Mike Kelly says:

        To the people talkng about his “I never had any white actor friends” comment, I think you are missing the context of the quote. Denzel started in movies in the early 80s. Very few if any black actors were employed in movies and the white actors were likely from a very different world then he was. I imagined he felt pretty isolated in the beginning and that kind of things stays with you even when the world has changed.

      • CathyT says:

        Holly Hobby is correct. This is from a Yahoo article by Mark Deming:

        (One of Washington’s public relations representatives later offer a clarification on the Guardian story, “I sat in on this interview,” the rep said. “The part they failed to mention was after he said ‘never befriended any white actors’ he mentioned ‘except,’ and then listed Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, etc. They cut the rest of the thought out. The rest is fine though.”)

      • Porkchop says:

        Wow. That’s some very shady editing. Thanks for the clarification.

      • MW says:

        @Holly Hobby and Cathy T – thank you for clarifying that!! Now I see Denzel was not to blame at all. This type of reporting happens all the time. They take a partial quote, (true, but incomplete) people do not read any further articles on the subject, and take it as gospel. And the tabloids ONLY do this to stir up a little anger and indignation from the readers. Then the readers end up “hating” on that person from that point on. It is sad and pathetic.

      • Mellie Khunt says:

        He also said he would never kiss a White woman. It seems like Densel has contempt for White people. Imagine if the shoe was on the other foot.

    • Jilli says:

      It seems to me he was also referring to the period of time when he was just starting out. He seems pretty grounded. He is a terrific actor.

    • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

      Agree. No need for people to read too much into it and get all worked up about some racial thing going on..he’s being normal and honest. Very cool guy.

    • Claire says:

      Race is going to continue to be an ‘issue’ as long as people keep saying things like this.
      Why should the race of his friends matter? Why is he bringing it up? By saying he doesn’t have white actor friends, he is segregating the two races. Just say nothing.
      To me, friends are friends. I don’t section them off into their races and spend time with them individually.

  3. Lucy2 says:

    Now Julia looks like an even bigger idiot for hanging all over him like she did.

    • SargassoSea says:

      Yes!? That was the year I stopped watching the oscars…or was it the next year? The year Halle AND Denzel won, it was like give the Blacks their cake year.

      I never forgot that giantdisrespectfulstraddle that an enthused Julia gave him in front of God, wife and country? She made like she was ready to ride him into the sunset. Too comfortable. I was shaking my head.

      • V4real says:

        From what I got from his comment he’s saying he don’t have any friends that are actors, black or white so what’s the big deal? You guys are reading too much into this. Funny how the I don’t have any white actor friends stand out when the man said he don’t have ANY actor friends. I guess that part wasn’t important because then there wouldn’t be a story.

      • MaiGirl says:

        YES to everything you said, SargassoSea! Julia was off the chain and out of bounds that night. I get that Denzel is a sexy mofo, and I would LOVE to straddle him myself, but the whole thing smacked of Julia trying to claim the d**k that is rightfully Paulette’s.

        Also, ITA about the “SEE! HOLLYWOOD ISN’T RACIST ANYMORE! SEE!!!” nature of those wins. Especially since both roles were so controversial in how they portray African-Americans. I’m still a little peeved that Denzel won for that crap role, and didn’t win for the brilliance the was Malcolm X or The Hurricane, but they had de facto lifetime achievement Best Actor Oscar wins those years.

      • Str8Shoote says:

        I wouldn’t admit to being friends with that horse-faced bitch either. She disgusts me. All about her and how she imagines EVERYONE still thinks she’s America’s Sweetheart.

        I had the misfortune of working on a film she did back in the 90s. Three solid days as an extra in a restaurant scene. And I can honestly say, I have NEVER met such a rude person before.

    • j.eyre says:

      I feel so catty but my first thought was Julia with egg on her face. Why do I dislike her so?

  4. po says:

    I love Denzel Washington. He is a class act. I agree that when he talks about friends he’s made, he’s not talking about work friends. I think he’s talking about people he spends the majority of his off-time with. I appreciate his honesty and not trying to explain the comment any further because the truth is, he could have talked more in depth about it and discussed what it was like to be a black actor in the 80s and 90s but he didn’t think it was necessary.

    • MaiGirl says:

      Well said, po. Thank you for being mature enough to understand that what he didn’t say is as important as what he did say. It isn’t too shocking that Denzel had more colleagues than friends in Hollywood at the time when Meshach Taylor’s role in movies like Mannequin were still okay to do.

  5. Lune says:

    I took that quote to mean when he started in the 70s.

  6. marie says:

    he comes across as a regular working guy. I get what he’s saying and I don’t think he meant any offense, he seems like a good guy.

  7. Ranunculus says:

    I think he is a great actor, but his comment is a bit smug. Like he is the only actor in HW who is not a celeb. There are quite a couple like him who take their jobs seriously, he is not the only one. And I am pretty sure there are black douche-bag actors out there.

    How come this reminds me of Whitney Houston’s mother who didn’t like the idea of her daughter being a lesbian.

    Church going people – always conservative creepy people to me.

    • Original A says:

      Actually, he won’t comment on it but apparently he donated a considerable sum for marriage equality….So he can’t be that conservative.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Yeah..I’m not sure that because one is religious that they are automatically conservative, same as just because one is atheist, does not automatically mean that one is liberal. There are a lot of “in-betweeners” these days, which I think is nice to see.

        I like Denzel a lot. He seems like a straight-up guy but I’m surprised that he’s basically describing himself as a loner. He always comes across as so charismatic and charming in interviews-I would see him as being really skilled in the “shmoozing” department. Anyway, a very talented and interesting actor…

      • lrm says:

        Original Kitten: there have ALWAYS been a lot of ‘in betweeners’…or, to put it another way, churches, synagogues, etc are filled with liberals….as much as conservatives….all of my relatives and friends growing up went to church-kennedy working class liberals of NE, for example….
        I think it’s actually a more recent development, that people have moved away from religion, particularly in more ‘liberal’ areas…..

        I don’t know why people would think only conservatives go to church, anymore than we would agree with the often conservative touted idea that they are ‘family values’ party. I’m thinking ‘um, a lot of liberals/dems have families, too’.
        It’s just such silly either/or generalizations that really don’t make much sense when you look at society and its structures….
        Perhaps, among certain age groups-ie, college, 20′s, etc, you could divide along political lines….
        but other age groups, it’s much harder to distinguish.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        I think it’s more a case of the ultra-religious conservatives trying to take over the party and being the more vocal of the bunch. I would say it’s the same with liberals-the most moderate ones aren’t necessarily the loudest.

        Anyway, I applaud the diversity. It warms my heart to see Christians that are for gay rights etc.

    • Moore says:

      I like him and think he does good work. But the quote seemed arrogant. He thinks he is better than all those Heathenistic, hedonistic, white actors.

  8. laura says:

    I met him many times and the guy is a REAL a#$%# to everyone including his wife. He has a huge ego and is insufferable.

  9. embertine says:

    Yeah, my take is that this is no biggie. I’m sure it will be quote-mined (as above) but in context that isn’t a weird thing to say. I like that he’s not a kissass to other people in the industry but I too have heard some stories about how rude he is generally.

    Although he has never freaked my personal peaches, he is looking hella dapper in that grey suit.

  10. Allison says:

    I thought he was good friends with Julia Roberts?!

  11. Micki says:

    I like him a lot but seriously if a white actor has said the same we’ll shout “rasist” and won’t search for possible friends to deflect his words.

    • Barhey says:

      +2.

      This kind of talk is hurtful, no matter your race

    • MaiGirl says:

      The problem with that is, we do not have an equal society yet, so there is a difference when a white actor says something like this, as opposed to a black actor like Denzel. A white American actor has hundreds of years of history on his side, in which excluding people of color was de rigueur. You weren’t exactly “friends” with the maid, if you get my drift. A black American actor doesn’t have that historical social and economic privilege, so the context is completely different. I think it’s hard for people with skin color privilege to understand the little things they do, often unconsciously that remind us that we are not as good as them. For example, one of my colleagues referred to a woman’s short, well-groomed Afro as “a funny hair style” that is “not professional.” So, my well-groomed hair, as it grows out of my head if I didn’t set my curls, is “not professional”. According to whom? I’m sure if you my colleague, she would assert that she was not being racist at all, and I am actually sure she intended no slight, but it was a slight, nonetheless. Just because she didn’t mean it, and doesn’t see it as I see it, doesn’t make me wrong.

      • Gretchen says:

        Word.

        Yes, if a white actor had said this there would (correctly) be a huge backlash and accusations of racism.

        Is this an okay thing for Denzel to say? Yes

        Because there’s no such thing as reverse racism!!!

      • Micki says:

        Mai girl, I had to answer because I saw a documentary some weeks ago about black women in US, who want to make career and be taken seriously. The main topic was actually´about cosmetic companies and their profit. But it was discussed what sort of procedure many women undertake to straighten the natural hair. One of them said that she wanted to be taken as “neat person!” I truly felt ashamed.
        The thing is I’ve met most Afro-Americans I know at UNI.There was never a question whether we’re equals or not. I took it as a given.
        I don’t have US upbringing to take the whole question in detail as US black person can do. But I resent the insinuation that appeared on this tread that whites befriend coloured people because that makes them feel superior somehow.
        But to be sure about my own conduct I have to ask my friends if at some point I’ve hurt their feelings.

      • Mira says:

        Very well said, MaiGirl. There is something about the history of oppression of minority groups across the world that the historically privileged majority don’t, won’t ever get.

        As for the Oscar campaign, well, DDL was a sure shot even before the release of Lincoln.

    • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

      Thank you. So very true.

  12. XiuFetish says:

    I just wonder whether a white actor would get a similar pass if he said: “I never befriended any black actors” (especially if the majority of actors were African-American). There has also been some discussion about the fact that Denzel refuses to kiss a white woman on-screen. Imagine if the situation were reversed with a white actor and an African-American actress…

    There have also been numerous reports that he steps out on his wife with other actresses, including Julia Roberts , Marvet Britto and Sanaa Lathan. I’m not sure how this aligns with his Pentecostal faith.

    Maybe he’s sitting this Oscar campaign out, because every man and his dog knows that Daniel Day-Lewis has a lock on best actor, so there’s no need for Denzel to “do an AnnE”.

    • Macey says:

      There would be a major scandal and headlines if a white actor said the same thing. You can bet the tabs would be going nuts and every politically correct person would comment and probably try to start a boycott.

    • cloud&feather says:

      RE: kissing a white woman– Have you seen Flight? Apparently, he got over it.

    • Nicolette says:

      A white actor could never say the same thing, innocent as it may be. It would be front page news and they would be labeled a racist immediately.

    • Micki says:

      You don’t have to imagine it, think only about the backlash John Mayer got for confessing that his penis prefers white women…rasist is rasist, no mather the colour

      • A says:

        Micki – John Mayer didn’t simply say his penis preferred white women.
        He said his d*ck is like david duke and a white supremacist.
        Here’s the thing: White supremacists have been raping black women and girls with their penises since slavery, so not only was that offensive, it was inaccurate and a bad comparison.
        Just state your preference without dragging black women into it. No one was offended that he prefers white women, we were offended because he had to drag us into it in the first place and then state the above about white supremacist. Again, state your preference without offending people, it’s not that hard.

    • Kim says:

      Denzel admitted he was unfaithful and had strayed from the church.Through prayer and counseling he and his wife worked through it.As for your comment yes a white actor would get more flak.There is a double standard.Well a white actor probably wouldnt get accused of shoplifting like Oscar winner Forrest Whitaker or get stopped weekly by the police like Tyler Perry.Life isn’t fair.Life is full of double standards.Denzel twins attend a school that 92% white his son had a white GF.DK if they area still dating.

    • bluecalling says:

      nah, its not the same thing. when you are black in a very very white world (as hollywood was when he first started), when you walk in you scan for the poeple like you (hell, we all do this. try being a white person in an all black club LOL).

      he scanned, he didn’t see anyone like him in his league so to speak (they were always three rows back). so you tend to focus within, be cautious… because you ask yourself, why the hell am i the only one of me here? i am sure denzel knew many other talented people of color who were not getting on the sets and knew exactly why. that puts you off, makes you insular and a little self involved.

      there is nothing and something wrong with it… its human but it is not how the world is suppose to make anyone feel (but then again, does the world owe us anything).

      so yeah, being a white person in a black whatever (i’ve seen it with american expats in west africa)… that is what black folks go through every single day… imagine that. you would be DYING to talk sh!t with people just like you.

      it’s just the truth.

    • Masque says:

      I wonder if the refusal to kiss a white woman onscreen was simply a way to remain appealing to the white male demographic. He could be a sex symbol to the white women as well as not provoking jealousy (especially racially motivated crap) in the white guys. It would be a brilliant ploy if that is the case.

      As for his personality, I’ve never heard anything good about him and have only heard he’s a dick and a serial cheater. Maybe he thought he was going to a Peniscostal church. :)

  13. Lulu says:

    He never made any white friends? If a white man made the reverse statement everyone would be jumping all over him, don’t you think? Let’s call it like it is. He is racist.

    • Po says:

      So, now we’re saying anyone without any friends of the opposite race are racist?

      • Micki says:

        Well Po, see it this way. the races got pretty mixed in the 20th century.
        I have black, white, asian friends and Germany has officially only 6% immigrants. I don’t have any Native American friends for obvious reasons.
        But living in US, working in HW with the whole variety of coleagues – yes, I find it strange he hasn’t made any white friends.

      • jaye says:

        But he didn’t say he didn’t have any white friends, he said he didn’t have any white ACTOR friends. I have work friends who are white, but as it happens most of my really close friends are black. I would never exclude anyone one, white, asian or whatever, but it’s just that it hasn’t happened.

      • Ranunculus says:

        If 90% of the people of a certain country or profession have a different skin colour than you and you have not made friends with any of them, yes that’s strange.
        If he only wants to hang out with black people that’s his choice, I would find it a bit strange, but hey whatever.
        But he makes it sound like no white person is good enough for him to be his friend. That’s actually offensive!

      • Micki says:

        @Jaye
        If you Google the statistics about friendship or affair (1 place) or marriage (15-20%) at workplace you’ll admit one has to go a bit out of his/her way not to befriend black/white peole at work.

      • Po says:

        Micki,
        I see some people are getting a little uptight so I will leave it at this. In my experience as a minority, one’s ability to make a “friend ” says nothing about their ability to feel superior to me and that is the definition of racism. I have known people of many different races with not one friend of the opposite race and some of them have been truly decent and honorable people. So while I appreciate you taking time out of your day to give me a condescending history lesson, I’m still not buying into your conclusions about what makes one person a racist over another.

        I do respect your right to your opinion though. Have a Good Day :)

      • Micki says:

        @Po: That was a nice condescending good bye on your part too! Have a good day!

      • jaye says:

        @Micki, I’m sure that’s true for a lot of people, but there are some people who consider co-workers just that…co-workers. I’ve worked with people like that. They have great working relationships with people at work, but that’s as far as it goes. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Again…he didn’t say he didn’t have any white friends…just no white actor friends.

    • Megan says:

      He didn’t say that! He said he didn’t make friends with white ACTORS!!! Not that he didn’t make friends with white people, there is a big difference. The man lives in Beverly Hills, his children play on teams in Beverly Hills, those parents he referred to are for sure white.

      Also lets take a look at a lot of the white actors he has worked with and ask ourselves if we’d be friends with them. Julia Roberts? Russel Crowe? I mean I just think he has good taste.

    • Naye in VA says:

      He said when he started out in the 70′s he wasnt really in the position to have any white actor friends. So as he’s gotten older and lived his life away from the industry taking the odd role, he hasn’t made any new ones either. In ADDITION to not having any TRUE industry friends.
      And if a white guy said it i wouldn’t take it to mean he never found a Black person he liked, he just was probably never in the right place at the right time to make any. I had more white friends in highschool. I went to a very diverse school. I have fewer now because of the environment I choose to hang in. It happens that way sometimes.

    • Tessa says:

      If he doesn’t click and relate to white guys, it doesn’t mean he hates them or has ill will towards them, it’s just that he has not been able to form a close bond. It’s not racism to click and relate better to your own race, it’s just what it is. It’s a level of comfort and understanding. It’s not hateful, it’s just a pretty normal social behavior.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        ^What Tessa said.

        I think it’s kind of natural to gravitate towards people who share the same cultural experience as you. I get a bit irritated with how quickly people scream “racism!” at almost everything and this applies to all races.

        Hell, I’m American but I have a French mom and I admit to feeling a unique bond with the French. I never thought it was a big deal or a sign of Xenophobia or what have you.

      • Masque says:

        I absolutely agree with your statement.

        If I could ask him about this sitch, My questions for Denzel would be…..why did you specify “white” actors? Why was it important to you to tell the world you don’t have WHITE actors as friends?

        Everytime I’ve read/heard his interviews I always end up thinking he doesn’t like white people.

    • Kim says:

      So if I dont have Jewish friends I guess Im anti Semite?

    • Alexandra Bananarama says:

      Yes! He has shown himself to be a racist time and time again. Maybe he was drinking during those times and it came out more, but this isn’t the 1st time he’s said these things. It is however the most pc way of saying it. Lauryn Hill has pulled the same stuff.

      • MaiGirl says:

        Thank you. I guess Obama in the White House makes it seem otherwise :)

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Gretchen-that should be MANDATORY reading for every white person.

        The main talking point in the article is exactly why white folks get mixed up-conflating racism, prejudice and discrimination. These terms are NOT interchangeable, guys.

      • Tessa says:

        That’s an editorial opinion. It’s one person’s take on the situation. I think hate for another race is hate for another race; ie racism. That’s JMO.

      • Lucrezia says:

        Thanks for posting that Gretchen.

        I couldn’t for the life of me figure out the “reverse racism is impossible” argument. But if you’re differentiating between prejudice, discrimination and institutional racism then it does indeed make perfect sense.

        In my defense for not understanding: I’m Australian, it’s slightly different here. The expectation is for colour-blindness, anyone mentioning race at all is going to get accused of racism.

        To be honest, it’s hard to shake that off, so I’m probably still going to give anyone discriminating on the basis of race the side-eye (Denzel, Viola, John Meyer). But at least I now know why so many Americans aren’t calling it racism.

    • Chelsea's handler says:

      Ha. I was waiting for someone to jump in with “if a white person said this” line.

    • Chelsea's handler says:

      Ha. I was waiting for someone to jump in with the “if a white person said this” line. Yeah us white people are soo persecuted. (Rolls eyes back so hard they stay stuck there for days)

  14. ToodySezHey says:

    Upright and Xian?

    Didnt his wife almost leave hinm because of infidelity ?

  15. neelyo says:

    I was going to agree with Laura. I’ve always heard he was kind of a dick. As he gets older he’s probably going to get more and more conservative and cranky. He wants to be a preacher? Look out.

  16. Chordy says:

    Okay, let’s immediately end the “if a white person said this about a black person they’d be racist” comments, okay? They’re based in complete ignorance, we’ve had this conversation a million times, and I’m beyond sick of the pile on when black people speak about race. If you don’t get it, don’t blame Denzel.

    • Jackie Jormp Jomp (formerly Zelda) says:

      Yup. You can’t reverse the comment. Context is totally different. Thinking it isn’t and you could just reverse it is a naive, Lenny-and-Forrest-Gump level of simplistic.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Right. You’d have to rewrite American history in order to effectively reverse the context. In other words, the two situations are NOT comparable.

        Not sure why so many people don’t seem to get that.

      • Chordy says:

        @TOK – THIS. I also want to ask some of these people why they think this keeps coming up? Why is it that black people and white people seem to be speaking a different language when it comes to race? Their answer seems to be that black people are talking about it wrong and white people are talking about it right, which is, if I may say, totally racist.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        @Chordy-a lot of white people operate under the misconception that “everything is equal now” meaning it’s a level playing field for black and white folks. I think part of their attempt to “equalize” is to compare what they perceive to be racism on either side of the coin, which at first glance, might not seem that harmful.

        However, the disconnect occurs when they attempt to “equalize” social status, effectively trying to eradicate the history of the African American experience, which is still very much a part of the foundation of every African American. Moving forward does NOT mean pretending that what happened didn’t happen. It’s acknowledging the differences between the American Caucasian experience and the African American experience and trying to understand each other, while still finding a middle ground and a way to move forward TOGETHER. For some reason, many white folks don’t have a handle on this.

        EDIT:I’m a white chick BTW and I’m not trying to speak for all white peeps, I’m just sharing my observations.

      • Chordy says:

        @TOK – ITA, and I think you described it very well. Additionally, the ability to be “colorblind” is at the foundation of white privilege, and when white people act like being “colorblind” shows some kind of superiority of character it highlights, to me, the form racism has taken in the “post-racial” society. I’m white and my sister is black. You wouldn’t believe the things people have said to me thinking they can get away with it because I’m the white sister I’ll “get it.” Meaning, I’ll be okay with their racist remarks since I’m Team White.

    • Lulu says:

      I’m not sure that I understand your meaning. I am certainly willing to listen, although you have said you are sick of the conversation.

      IMO, any time any one feels the need to bring in race as a human descriptive, I immediately get rankled. It is simply not an important distction to me – it is not how I was raised, we are almost ALL an incredible mix of ethnicities. And scientifically it is inaccurate as well. We are all of the human race.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        I get what you’re saying and I know a lot of people that feel this way and I certainly don’t think it’s a bad way to view things.

        But here’s what the problem is: not every white person sees things the way you do-we still have a racism problem in this country. So for a black person-race is still VERY much a part of their life. They experience racism and they see that others DO still see the color of their skin before they see them as a person. So to say that “people shouldn’t distinguish between races-we are all one race-HUMANS” (and I know you didn’t say this exactly-paraphrasing here) really just invalidates how many black people feel. They DO see race because they’ve had to fight against racism for every day of their lives. It’s a huge part of their identity and not something for them to be ashamed of (not that you’re saying that).

        I’m not trying to speak for black people so please feel free to add on or tell me I’m off-base. I’m basically relating *some* of my observations about race/racism in conjunction with my own experience as a female when it comes to gender differences and what I perceive to be sexism, misogyny etc.

        Also, as someone who’s last relationship was with a black man, we only discussed race in a very peripheral way. But I will tell you that never have I received more stares than when he and I would be cuddly, holding hands etc in a public place. Racism is still alive guys.

      • videli says:

        Lulu,

        Being color-blind seems to be the privilege of white folks. It would be the ideal state, but most people of color cannot afford to ignore race.

      • Chordy says:

        Lulu – TOK and videli did a great job describing it already, and I also think that simply being willing to have the conversation puts you in a completely different category than the people I was frustrated with in my original comment. I also think that a lot white people think they’re far more colorblind than they actually are, and the word “blind” is the key word here. People tend to go with the “well I’m not racist so you’re overly sensitive!” argument, when that argument itself is racist because you’re basically telling someone that they can’t be trusted to understand their own life experience. People also need to learn the difference between racism and bigotry.

      • Lulu says:

        Guys, thanks for the well thought out responses, and you are right in that color blindness is definitely not something that you can assume everyone shares. My husband, despite his privileged upbringing, is not color blind, and finds it necessary to make color a distinction when describing a person which I am forever questioning him about. His experience is much different from mine, and he did experience terrible racism at one point in his life. I doubt he will ever heal. I also have experienced it, but so far it hasn’t changed who I am, thankfully.

        And now we hear that apparently, whoever published that article artfully snipped the part off where Denzel then when on to say “except for Julia and…” .

        To Chordy, I do know the difference between racism and bigotry. My mom is a straight up bigot, not believing that homosexuals should have the same human rights as she enjoys. One of the reasons I broke relations with her.

        I’m sorry I couldn’t get back to this thread until now. Yesterday was crazy at work and then crazy at home!

    • Ranunculus says:

      The argument is not whether black people are not subject to racism. The argument is about racism or hatred against other minorities can only be found in white communities. That I simply don’t believe.

  17. Granger says:

    I grew up in a Pentecostal church and … well, I can’t imagine ever going back. It was awful. Now, we’re talking the 80s, when Pentecostals were significantly more conservative than they are now (which is a frightening thought, considering how conservative they still are). We weren’t “allowed” to drink, go to school dances, or go to movies! Even though that’s changed, my experiences in the church left such a bad taste in my mouth that I wouldn’t walk through the doors of one if you paid me.

    So I know it’s completely unreasonable, but knowing Denzel is a Pentecostal kind of deflates his appeal in my eyes. Yes, yes, it’s stupid. I just can’t help getting that nasty taste in my mouth when I remember my childhood experiences with the Pentecostal church and haughty, holier-than-thou Pentecostal men in particular…

    • notpretentious says:

      Granger, your comment really stands out to me so I had to make a comment. You said based on your experience of a group’s behavior, you feel kind of leery about one of it’s members. That is completely acceptable in my book. After all, we do the same collectively about
      Scientologists.

    • JL says:

      Pentecostal -no shit! Well, I’m not down with the Pentecostal system either. But then most pentecostals aren’t fans of catholicism and I totally respect that.

      Not to say that would preclude me socializing with the man, but if he got all righteous and such – nope, you’ve got to go Denzel or not.

      We all make calls based on our personal beleifs and values, that’s fine as long as we respect each other. Respect doesn’t mean I have to engage in your beliefs, like your beliefs or listen to your beleifs – it simply means I don’t get to be an ass to you.

    • Kim says:

      I feel the same way about the Baptist church

  18. Megan says:

    I didn’t take it to mean anything other then he is a normal guy who happens to be very successful at his job but doesn’t really socialize with the people he works with. That isn’t that uncommon.

    And again he didn’t say he didn’t have white friends he said his friends where other parents, and considering he lives in Beverly Hills I’m guessing that would mean some are white.

    It is obvious that Denzel is a class act that loves his job but views it as a job, and does not have this crazy need to be a star, he wants to be an actor. This is why we never see him in pap photos because he legitimately does not go after it, and to be honest he seems rather out of touch with the “hollywood” scene I mean the man called Paris Hilton a celebrity.

    I love Denzel and wasn’t offended at all, loved the interview. I think he likes to keep work and personal separate and good for him.

    • spinner says:

      Then why didn’t he just say that he isn’t friends with or doesn’t socialize with Actors? He specifically singled out WHITE Actors. Why did he do that? We all know why.

      • Debbie says:

        He actually did in the beginning of the quote, he talks about how he doesn’t make friends on set so he included everyone then goes on to explain how it was starting out and then mentions white actors. And really Denzel unlike many black actors has been cast in movies with predominately white casts so personally I took it to mean he really hasn’t worked with a lot of black actors. It’s not like he’s been seen hanging with Donald faison or said he is friends with black actors!

        He said his friends are other he Beverly hill parents (no way not white at least some) and people who aren’t actors.

        Seriously this was a ill advised way to say this but really not a big deal. Oh and for the record I’m white.

  19. JL says:

    Goodness, I never thought to keep count of the ethnicity of my friends.

    I decide to hang with on mutual values, likes and professional goals. Never once condsidered race, religion or sexuality. This has provided me with a very diverse group of friends – some of whom others make fun of or put down….oh well.

    There are a$$holes of all colors and kinds – Denzel can hang with whomever he wants, free choice. That’s not racist no matter who does it.

  20. cobbler says:

    Enough with the ‘if the situation were reversed a white actor would be called racist’ nonsense. The situation ISN’T reversed and hasn’t been for hundreds of years. Who are these legion of oppressed white men that some of you are imagining? There’s no such thing as ‘reverse racism’. There just isn’t. Maybe do a little reading on the subject. And Denzel isn’t obligated to have white actor friends in order to satisfy certain ignorant perceptions about race in America.

    • Ranunculus says:

      Just because some people are the “oppressed” people doesn’t mean they don’t do the same stupid and awful stuff that the oppressors do. Oppressed people are not necessary morally better people just because they are oppressed. Homophobia is more widespread in black communities than white communities.

      If somebody beats you up you take it out on the person who is socially ranked lower than you. For a black male it’s quite often a black female or a gay person. Farrakhan hated Jewish people.
      Stupid BS happens in every society.

      • A says:

        “Homophobia is more widespread in black communities than white communities.”

        Really? Is it black people that made laws that said two people of the same sex can’t marry each other? Is it black people who make you feel unwelcome in your gated communities? This reminds me of prop 8 and how white people blamed black people, specifically black women for it when it was a vote in california.
        Truly bizarre when they make up less than 4%.
        Did you know white gay people can be very racist? Go to San Fran and see for yourself.

      • Ranunculus says:

        It’s actually black people who are concerned about homophobia in their own communities. Many publications about the topic – very often from black authors. Quite often churches are to blame for the homophobia.

        I doubt black people were in the lawmaking branch of a government when the law you mentioned was implemented.

      • Chordy says:

        Wait, what? How does homophobia in the black community relate to the difference between how black people and white people experience race in America? Are you justifying the oppression of black people because there are homophobic black people and one dude is definitely an anti-semite? Also, white people aren’t necessarily awesome at not being homophobic either.

      • MaiGirl says:

        Let’s make sure we understand the distinction between people in various African-American communities, and those associated with various Black churches. I work advocating for students of color, and I have found my community on the whole to be no more or less homophobic than any other community, overall. However, we do have a number of people who are religious, and that has everything to do with the fact that the church was often the only place where African-Americans could gather without suspicion or violent retribution (for the most part), so the church has a social significance that is very different from predominately white churches. So, yes, those folks tend to be pretty homophobic because “the bible says” blah blah blah, but that’s the same as it is in any community.

    • Lulu says:

      You’re right Cobbler. Racism is racism.

    • lrm says:

      ireland. ["mass of white men" as you asked, and women and children, to boot]
      also, immigrants to the US: Italian, Irish, Polish, etc. ‘Irish need not Apply’, etc etc.
      Not to the same degree or brutality as AA, and not to the same degree of say, India’s caste system and multitude of other racist societies historically and today…..
      BUT, if we start splitting hairs and saying ‘my racist/opressive experience was worse than yours’, we negate the discussion. Though of course there are different degrees of suffering as a result. But internalized oppression culturally and genetically, is not the sole domain of one group or race, historically nor at present.

      It seems like humanity will never be able to move beyond past and present wounds….which surely affect ability to release from this grip in the future….

  21. Dawn says:

    I am definately okay with the statement about befriending white actors as I would be with a white actor saying the same about black actors. I have a problem when it becomes an issue for one race and NOT the others.

  22. Lucrezia says:

    Friends is such a vague word.

    That quote sounds like he only has 3 friends: music-buy, restaurant-guy and the other one (ball-player). So I think he’s using a really narrow definition. He only has a handful of “friends”, because he classes everyone apart from “besties” as collegues/acquaintance.

    If he’s only got 3 friends, I’m not suprised none of them are white. Now if you asked him to name his closest 30 friends/acquaintances and they were all African-American, THEN there might be a problem.

  23. shewolf says:

    I’m white. I don’t make friends with black teachers.

    Sounds a little different doesn’t it.

  24. Talie says:

    I don’t think he’s been quite that innocent despite his “religious” background.

  25. Seagulls says:

    This guy seems like a major tool. If he hasn’t made any actor friends in his several decades as an actor, that says something about him. That’s not “butt-kissing,” or “schmoozing,” that’s getting along with your colleagues and then becoming close with the people you really like.

    As to his comments on race: What a sad way to live, writing off swaths of people because of their skin color and profession.

  26. Sweet Dee says:

    I just don’t trust most people who strongly adhere to conservative religions. I don’t trust their judgment, and I question their motives.

    Also nobody asked him about race, he just interjected it there, right? Normally I’m the first one slapping down the “if the races were reversed…” card, but I thought he was a known racist and cheater. Not a reverse racist, that’s not a thing. He’s just a racist. I’m surprised people are defending that statement.

  27. Elceibeno08 says:

    His remark about not befriending white actors does sound a bit reversed racist. None of us know him personally so we can’t really pass judgement.

  28. TheOriginalKitten says:

    Well I guess I’m a sh-thead too then because none of my co-workers are my close friends and I’ve been at this job for almost 7 years. My close friends are mainly people I met in college and a few friends from high school. I get along well with my co-workers, I just wouldn’t consider them *close friends*.

    • Lulu says:

      Yes, but would you feel it necessary to define their race(s)?

      I’m not trying to be arguementative. I enjoy your posts and especially your adorable avatar! :)

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        No and I get your point, but I always say that most of my friends are men-does that make me sexist?

        I mean, let’s look at the context of Denzel’s comment: It’s (presumably) the 70s, racism is at the forefront of the social structure, Washington is working in an industry dominated by white men and very VERY few people of color. He probably banded together with people who shared the same cultural identity as him and gained strength from that. Is that wrong?

        Listen, I work in an industry dominated by men but all my mentors are women. Why? Because I admire how far they have gotten in an industry that is not kind to women. I tend to gravitate towards them because I feel a safety, an admiration and an innate connection, simply based on our shared experience-it’s easier to envision my future as a woman in corporate America by emulating other women. With men, I feel a complete disconnect because of their gender and because I know the path is easier for them. Is it bad that I instinctively choose female role models over male role models? In my opinion, no. I’m not hating on men or sabotaging men in any way you know? I’m not saying “men are terrible, horrible assholes for paying me less than the dude that does half as much work as me”.

        Ok maybe I am saying that last part ;)

        PS-as cute as this black cat is, my real-life cat is much much cuter ;)

      • Lulu says:

        Hi TOK (finally figured out who everyone was referring to when they wrote that haha). So your kitten is cuter, huh? If you ever managed to make an avatar out of her picture, I imagine we would all die of sugar poisoning just like I do every time Kaiser posts with her adorable kitten avatar! Believe it or not, I have a very cute fish (to me). Maybe I will try to make an avatar out of him. Heheh.

        At any rate, I kind of think that comparing genders to races is apples to oranges, you know? Gender is a difference that truly cannot be ignored and is legitimate IMO. We really ARE different, genetically and physically and temperamentally (Mars, Venus, etc). And it is well accepted and we are constantly trying to understand each other and close the gap – at least most of us I think.

        Is it you who further down said you dated an African-American? I did too. My experience was different than yours. The only racism I experienced while dating him was the glares I received from other African-American women. Apparently (my boyfriend explained to me) they were offended that a White woman would take a good looking Black man off the market. While dating him, I also found him to be extremely touchy about everything related to race. If I dared to use the wrong descriptive term (I believe ‘Black’ was offensive) I was quickly corrected. He would point out to me all the perceived slights and glances – he was just on edge all the time. Just WAITING for something to offend him. He crowed about getting into medical school, not because of his good grades (he didn’t have them), but because he was African-American and because he was going to get a ‘free ride’ because of it. Maybe I just picked a jerk, I don’t know. I’m sure he had suffered his fair share of racism in his life. But I have met plenty of other African-Americans who have risen above. Who don’t let it define them and I prefer to celebrate those people. When Denzel feels the need to separate folks by their skin color, that tells me he is still letting skin color define himself and others. That’s my take on all this.

    • Mira says:

      TOK – No, you ain’t a shithead. If you are, then count me in too. I get along well with my colleagues and I aim for a healthy working relationship with my colleagues. I don’t aim to be their friends or seek friendship in them. It does not mean that I don’t hangout with them or share certain personal experiences. Hanging-out is what it is in a professional space – once in a while, like say, get together after the end of a term. Same with sharing personal experiences – it’s being sensitive and empathic to their situations without having to know all the personal details. But this is also in my nature; I’m very slow to form bonds and I tend to have a very small circle of close friends, most of who I’ve known since college.

  29. blueanemone says:

    I agree with you…if any white actor would make the same statement about black actors, he would be deemed a racist. It does go both ways, and for the record, i do respect denzel as an actor immensely.

  30. fd says:

    Love him. A great movie star who has done it on its own terms.

  31. RHONYC says:

    would he hush up and A-G-E already!!! :-P :evil: :lol:

  32. Lia says:

    Why do we have to discuss this issue every time? He never said he didn’t want to befriend white actors, he just happened not to do it…he clearly explains the situation when he first started acting and how it was different from today.
    Probably he’s in good terms with many of the white actors he worked with,I don’t see how his statement makes him a racist.

    By the way he refused to kiss a white woman on set because of the backlash he would have gotten at the time, when interracial relationship were not so common.

    If we want to play the”reversed racism card”;people were offended by John Mayer not much for his statements, but for his choice of words. I was cool with him saying he was not attracted to black girls until he started bragging about his” n*gger pass” and his “supremacist d*ck”

  33. JL says:

    @ Ranunculus; and all the rest of you….

    Read the quote, it says:

    He doesn’t have friends within the industry:
    “But actually, even within the industry, I don’t have any actor friends,” he concedes. “My friends are old friends.”

    in the beginning of his career most actors were white, and he didn’t associate with actors b/c of personal beliefs. Sounds like white, black, asian – all of them.

    I can’t say I blame him, I wouldn’t want to hang with a lot of actors given their lifestyles either.

  34. Polly says:

    My problem with him is that both he and Spike Lee were terrible to Cynda Williams during “Mo Betta Blues”. Horrible, mean, and sexist. And I’ve heard he is unpleasant to women actors he works with, which blows.

  35. Guest says:

    I love the culture section of the guardian newspaper. Grammer still matters. As To Denzil; it is lovely to see an actor who depends on his craft and talent and studiously avoid ass kissing. I know it is the fashion to go after black people as a whole; one can take a sentence and add shade. I just see a principled man who is middle-aged and does not give a sh##. He understands that it is the journey; not the lifestyle. I pay to see all of his movies. He has his audience that enough to carry his career. Thank God!!

  36. CaramelKiss says:

    This is the same premise as Viola Davis saying she prayed for a big, black, southern man and how racist that was…both are completely unfounded IMHO. Neither one is obviously racist but just PREFER to surround themselves with people that look like them. I totally get that stance but of course I’m a sistah (Af.Am.). However, my closest friends are like an ad for United Colors of Benetton…so go figure.

    • JL says:

      If Viola wants a big, black, southern man, why shouldn’t she pray for one. That’s what she likes so that’s what she should have.

      It’s her choice – respect it.

      I’m 1/2 white and 1/2 native and blonde hair doesn’t appeal to me asthetically, I don’t care if one has blonde hair, it just doesn’t rock my world. That’s just a preference not racist. We all like different things….

  37. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    I’m surprised Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise haven’t done an action project together – they would make an interesting duo for a movie – and to see them have a religious debate would be entertaining.

  38. Rita says:

    I’ve always apprecitated his acting talents and his lack of need to be a celebrity. He has a genuine quality and xfactor that makes people like him.

    I found his comment about not helping a white actor refreshingly candid. I don’t think there is a deep seated racism behind it but I will say that if a white actor of his stature had made that statement about blacks or gays, they would have been labeled a racist or bigot. I think the social discussion needs more honesty like Denzel’s.

  39. Hahaha says:

    My man…I love me some Denzel..

  40. videli says:

    His friendship comments don’t bother me at all. On the one hand, making friends is such a function of circumstances – age, moving, decade. On the other hand, it’d take a dozen dissertations to explain why the black experience and preferences cannot possibly mirror the white experiences and preferences. I’m not going to marvel at the fact the black people see the world differently.

  41. Lady D says:

    Sigh. If I could have a wish, just one wish, I would wish for the human race to be colour-blind when it came to skin.

  42. j.eyre says:

    I liked his drinking while acting comment. One time – ONCE – I went on stage tipsy but didn’t tell anyone and I thought I was all kinds of fantastic that night. After the show, my director/co-star came up to me, placed his hand on my shoulder and said:

    “Do you know why I don’t drink when I go on stage? Because my acting sucks when I do.” … and walked away.

  43. Loulou says:

    He must be heterosexual. The majority of white actors are at least bi.

  44. lrm says:

    It’s a bit ridiculous to equate romantic/sexual chemistry or attraction to ‘racism’….

    That’s rich. When I read that about Viola Davis, i did not even think twice about what she said-actually, i thought ‘good for her; she sounds happy’….
    nothing to do with race in my mind, even though she did use ‘black’ as one of her criteria.
    Some people are attracted to multiple races, some are not-and it’s not always their own race that they are attracted to, but often it is. Big deal!

    Also, both Viola and DW made statements that confirm other criteria that is just as important as race: Culture, Lifestyle and Religion. Viola wanted ‘black SOUTHERN man’I think southern was a key criteria for her, as much as race was…..Denzel claims he hangs out with fellow church goers and other parents he knows….

    anyway, who one is attracted to is not inherently racist. Personally, despite our technological and scientific advancement, I still have not discovered the secret of the strange process of chemical attraction to another….certainly some people were raised to not like another group; but not every person who is only attracted to certain superficial or deeper characteristics, falls into this category.

  45. Dee Cee says:

    I thought Julia Roberts and he were besties since 2002..

    So much for a secret ballot. Last’s year’s “Erin Brockovich” Best Actress Oscar winner Julia Roberts is putting her X next to Denzel Washington’s name on her Academy Award voting sheet. Washington, 47, is in the running for Best Actor for his role as a cop gone wrong in “Training Day.” “He should be on his third Oscar by now, and that might not be enough,” Roberts raved in the current Newsweek magazine in a profile of Washington. The two starred together in 1993′s “The Pelican Brief,” and Roberts, 34, considers him “the best actor of this generation, hands down . . . I cannot absorb living in a world where I have an Oscar for Best Actress, and Denzel doesn’t have one for Best Actor.” Washington has won before, for the 1989 Civil War story “Glory” — though that was for Best Supporting Actor. (In the 73 years since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences began dispensing Oscars, five African- American actors and actresses have won for supporting roles and only Sidney Poitier has received a Best Actor Academy Award, for 1963′s Lilies of the Field.”) This year’s Oscar telecast takes place March 24, and Washington’s competition is Russell Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind,” Sean Penn in “I Am Sam,” Will Smith in “Ali” and Tom Wilkinson in “In the Bedroom.” No word on Julia’s choice for Best Actress.

  46. Nicole Ocean says:

    Where did all of these negative rumors about Denzel being a misogynist or an a-hole come from? I’ve never seen these comments in any of his other posts on here. I just find it strange that they show up now.

  47. Gemini08 says:

    What he said wasn’t offensive- merely reality. The black acting community in Hollywood is really small. And there is in fact a divide between white and black Hollywood. Most black actors find themselves up for the same roles because of the fact that there is such a small pool. It’s why most black actors all know each other!

  48. lady X says:

    Come on people …
    He never said he was a loner … he said I have regular everyday people friends .. which is the same thing Steve Harvey said …
    The name of the church he is a member of is West Angeles Church of God in Christ here in L.A … Newsflash Most of black hollywood attends church regularly and are very involved …. He is not conservative so to speak … but he has morals and values … a live and let live idea
    What he said is a true statement … Yes there are a lot of hollywood people who are interracialyl social but usual black actors hang with each other and whites with each other .. that is the majority …. same with like Eva Longoria … George Lopez… Mario Lopez …
    Denzel means he is not so hollywood that he is having these hollywood “kiss ass to a director to get a role parties” at my house … it is actually how he stays so grounded
    I can say that cause I work in the industry and have many black hollywood actor friends… when you go to their homes.. it is their family and old school friends over and maybe 1 or 2 other actors …
    It is how he stays out of trouble too
    He is a stand up man who loves and honors his wife … I have the utmost respect for him
    Yes if a white person said “I never made any black friends in hollywood” it would be a big deal to some not all … because we black people know the deal …
    But NEWSFLASH … it is NOT THE SAME … it never will be … not sure why you all can not understand that? … usually when black people are out about race in the public it is in response to their having to deal with it in private
    And yes There are Christians who are for gay rights … we are smart enough to say “I may not agree with your lifestyle .. but I will fight to death your right to live it ”
    I think I covered every topic on the thread

  49. Louise says:

    Oh Denzel, marking you off. It’s no more ok for black people to be racist than it is anyone else. You just died to me.

  50. Wicked says:

    What is so strange about that? Just because he’s an actor? I have colleagues @ work with whom I get along, but they are not my friends and not the people I hang with…it’s just his job! He’s not obligated! I keep my private life private and it’s hard enough staying real and focused in a world like that much less if you surround yourself with lifestyle constantly!

  51. reg says:

    In a blind item Denzel said he only works with white people because he has to, he is full of B—S—-, projects himself as a religious family man, but has mistresses on the side like Sanna Lathan.

  52. eb says:

    I vaguely remember a tidbit of info from the past that said that Denzel Washington refused to be in any movies that had a romantic scene between himself and a white women, only black women.

  53. reg says:

    Sanna Lathan was with him for maybe 6 years, and there are many others, he should not try to project himself as something he is not. He is a good Actor, but Samuel Jackson is a better one.

  54. Christina says:

    I do not like him. And the quote: “And… being African American, there were no big movie stars to hang out with anyway” is the most idiotic this a person could say. Really!

  55. F5 says:

    ..so that’s why he didn’t call me back ︶︵︶

  56. non-beleiber says:

    Actor Bronson Pinchot had this to say re: working with Denzel on “Courage Under Fire” (1996)

    BP: That was a low point, because Denzel Washington was behind the incredibly cowardly bullshit of “This is my character, not me.” He was really abusive to me and everybody on that movie, and his official explanation was that his character didn’t like me, but it was a dreadful experience. I spent my salary on time with my shrink just for helping me get through it, and what that led to was the very next big movie that I did. I should have said to the producers, “You get that guy in line, or I’m out of here.” Life’s too short. But the next movie I did, the director was getting a lot of crap from his star, and he started to take it out on me one day, and just like a German shepherd—you know when a German shepherd stands up on its hind legs and puts its paws on your shoulders?
    I put my hands on his shoulders and I very gently but firmly said, “I don’t do abuse, and if you say one more word of abuse to me, I’m on a plane, and you don’t have enough money to keep me here.” And that was the end of it, and I’ve never taken abuse again. And I wasn’t vile or anything, it just ripped out of me. Denzel Washington cured me forever of thinking that there is any amount of money or anything that could ever, ever make it okay to be abused. The script supervisor on that movie said it’s like watching somebody kick a puppy. He was so vile. And after that, I just would never endure it again.

  57. ronny says:

    I think white people will never understand nor accept racism.
    Its something we face everyday of our lives.Until you date or marry a black or african american person,have friends who are,or give birth to children who are darker, you won’t understand what we go through.
    Sure its easier now than in the past.But racism still exists and there’s no such thing as reverse racism.

    • minime says:

      I’m a white mediterranean person (genetically it seems that we share more with africans than with central europeans if that is interesting in any way) and I think I can understand racism and accept that it exists. Still, I get the impression that in the USA it is way more present than where I live, since althought we have a lot of people of color, the racist card is not a topic that comes up as often as it seems to happen there.

      Then again, it really pushes me away when people make the kind of comment that you did. I met a lot of POC who where big racists, as I also now white, chinese, spanierds, and so on who are all kind of racists. I had a black african friend who told me that her dad forbid her to go to the beach so that she wouldn’t have a darker complexion (you know, we are here talking about tones and shades…)

      I respect greatly the fact that POC have a recent past of hatred against them and situations of injustice that are beyond words and imagination. I also understand that this is still not over, as the racism/xenophobism against anyone that belongs to a minority is far from being over. And for that reason, POC are a lot more defensive (and have to be) towards a bunch of social situations.

      But I would like that the racism “card” (or whatever could be the name) wouldn’t be used as an argument to justify or refute so much stuff that maybe are just due to our own individuality. I sometimes read so much shaming based on color, background, nationality that it is overwhelming, and believe me, there is something as “reverse racism”, it’s called “racism”, the minority can always change with the context.

      • minime says:

        Ok, my bad..I’m too late (or too early in the morning) an didn’t read all the comments that were already here before posting. I see now that this was already very much discussed and that there seems to be a huge big difference between USA and other countries. Well, I never thought I could belong to a minority (or that I could be something that not white) untill I applied to a PhD program in NYC where I had to state my “race”, something that would NEVER EVER had been asked in my country. I think I spent more time with that question than with any other, since i was pretty sure that caucasion wouldn’t really be the answer…

  58. ??? says:

    One of his kids went to the high school I formerly attended and some of the teachers I’m still in touch with have mentioned that Denzel was consistently quite unpleasant and narrow-minded.

    I find that pretty revealing of his character, considering these observations weren’t made by people gossiping on the set of some movie or play, where it might be expected that he’d be a jerk while in his “element.”

    His interpretation of that prophecy the “seer” made when he was young is so self-inflated and such a load of ridiculous, pretentious bull. I’d bet good money that he’s probably just another Hollywood hypocrite.

    And, Kaiser, why is it surprising that he didn’t campaign for an Oscar this year? Denzel’s “sitting this one out” because snagging the little golden man has been in the bag for DDL ever since he signed on for Lincoln. Why should Denzel even waste his energy trying? I’m surprised his mugging in Flight even landed him a nomination.

  59. emma says:

    yeah it seems in the context he was saying there’s not a lot of people he really connected to beyond friendliness. You can like people & not be actual friends…..

  60. hmm says:

    As soon as we require white actors to have non-white friends then I’ll care about which actors Denzel has befriended. It seems that whenever we talk about race in Hollywood we conveniently ignore the fact that the majority of movies and television shows are almost entirely white but as soon as we can try to portray a black person as a racist we jump right in. Get back to me when we ask Jennifer Aniston or Reese Witherspoon where are there black friends and ask young white filmmakers like Affleck and others why they don’t push for more diversity in their projects, I’ll simply say, have a seat.

  61. Jayna says:

    I just watched Flight. Denzel is in my top five favorite actors. He always delivers a great performance.

  62. Dichelle says:

    I am a black woman, and I’ve got to respond to the comment that white people befriend black people to feel superior.

    Eight years ago I was a freshman at a predominantly all-black college. Despite the low probability, I ended up with a white roommate named Katie. She was very pretty and had a nice personality. First thing off the bat, she tells me call her Necee, because that’s what her family calls her. She also spoke with an urban dialect. Right off the bat, I’m thinking that she wants to be in with the sisters and act black, and I’m also thinking that she wants to be friendly but to be the leader. We wanted nothing to do with her offered friendship.

    To make a long story short, we treated her like dirt. We felt that she wanted to steal our boyfriends and that she thought she was smarter than us in classes. We also felt that her trying to be so friendly was, again, to be the leader and to eventually boss us around, because she thought she was better. And, in all honesty, I didn’t go to an all black school to room with a white person, sorry, that’s how 18 year old me felt at the time.

    We stole some cash from her a few times, even a text book, candy, ruined some of her laundry in the clothes washer, threw away one of her important notebooks, wouldn’t eat with her…we were downright biotches to her. We even spread a rumor or two.

    Well she almost made it through the fall, but quit. Here’s the turning point: when her parents came to pick her up. A black man and woman, darker than me, in a crappy old car which was so tiny it barely held her boxes of stuff. She cried when they picked her up, and I was glad that they couldn’t see me and my guilt from where I was standing.

    I’m not sure if she was a foster child (she was technically too old to be a foster, I think), adopted, only one of the man and woman’s biological kid, a distant family member, I don’t know. But, my point is, at that moment when she left I realized in my heart that her attempt to be friends with everyone was genuine, and that maybe she was raised with black people and chose this college because it’s where she felt more comfortable.I don’t think her wanting to be friends had anything to do with her feeling superior. But when I first met her, I couldn’t get over the blonde hair, blue eyes, and light as you can get skin.

    Eight years have passed and obviously I’ve met more white people. I’ve gotten the same “I want to be the boss or better” feeling from many, but I’ve seen it more as a personality trait or flaw among ALL races as opposed to just those who are white. I mean, black, white, asian, whatever…some people just want to feel that they are better than you.

    Because, to be honest with you, “paying back” one white person was more than my soul could and ever wants to handle again.