No one would say Denzel Washington has issues succeeding in Hollywood. He is one of the biggest names, and he is one of the few actors who still can say that everything they touch turns to gold.
But the latent racism that inhabits the cinema industry affects even someone as successful as Mr Washington.
Washington is currently promoting Fences, his third time behind the camera, and which is based on the homonym play by August Wilson. Washington starred in the 2010 Broadway production of the play alongside Viola Davis, and now they are both back as the story’s stars for its move to the big screen.
As he told in an interview with CBS’s 60 minutes, he has lived with Hollywood’s lack of diversity it for a long time.
Washington admitted that he had lived that silent racism throughout his career, and that he had been the guy at the Oscars “without my name being called”, but he was also lucky to have been the guy whose name WAS called.
We all know Denzel is not a weak man. He fights for what he wants and certainly a bunch of stiffed racist are not going to stop him from doing what he loves.
And he was clear about what he thinks of people who treat this issue as something that would diminish people of colour instead of giving them strength:
“So what? Give up? Looking for an excuse you will find one. You can find it wherever you like. You can’t live like that.”
We love you Denzel, and we would pay to go and see one of your movies even if it was just you sitting on a bench reading for two hours.