By April 19, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

When He Was a New Actor Denzel Washington Turned Down A Movie Role So Racist It Could Have Destroyed His Career


If you didn’t think you could like Denzel Washington any more, you’re in for a shock. In the following video, Denzel shows how powerful Hollywood interests can (and do) perpetuate racism in the name of what they consider “comedy.”

The clip is taken from a longer New York Times interview with Denzel Washington and Viola Davis for the opening of their Broadway production of “Fences.” One poignant quote from the video below bears transcribing:

I got a part in a movie in 1986. I call it the “N****r They Couldn’t Kill.” [The character] He raped a white woman; they tried to electrocute him but it didn’t work and he became a cult hero. Then they tried to hang him. There were some Jewish people in the audition room who said “it is funny.” And I said to them “yeah, it’s like you bring some Jewish people into a room and they think it is a shower but it is gas. And they said “right!” And I said “Right! That ain’t funny!” So to me it was not funny to put a rope around my MFing neck and I made a point. I called Sidney (Portier) and told him “man they are offering me $600,000 to play the “N****r They Couldn’t Kill.” And he told me, “I’m not going to tell you what to do. But I will tell you this, the first, two, three or four films you do in this business will dictate how you are perceived.

The film would have given Washington, a new actor, a $600,000 pay day. But by staying true and turning down the unethical role, he made a real career for himself. Watch the video below.

(Article by M.B. David)

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