Legendary actor Denzel Washington recently explained why he believes “diversity shouldn’t even be mentioned” when it comes to promoting Hollywood projects.
Washington, who stars in director Joel Coen’s recent adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, told NBC BLK at a roundtable with other media outlets, “Obviously we are diverse, so I think that’s a great thing.”
The actor then added, “You know, in my humble opinion, we ought to be at a place where diversity shouldn’t even be mentioned, like it’s something special.”
He explained, “These young kids — black, white, blue, green or whatever — are highly talented and qualified. So that’s why they’re there.”
While Washington believes “diversity shouldn’t even be mentioned, like it’s something special,” he does believe in putting God first in everything he does.
Speaking with Religion News Service about his film A Journal For Jordan, the Man on Fire actor stated, “I have more than one spiritual leader in my life. So there’s different people I talk to, and I try to make sure I try to put God first in everything.”
He added, “I was reading something this morning in my meditation about selfishness and how the only way to true independence is complete dependence on the Almighty.”
Washington isn’t just preaching it, he’s putting his words into action as well. He revealed that while filming A Journal For Jordan he sometimes led the cast and crew in prayer.
He explained, “Sometimes. The spirit of God is throughout the film. Charles is an angel. I’m a believer. Dana’s a believer. So that was a part of every decision, hopefully, that I tried to make. I wanted to please God, and I wanted to please Charles, and I wanted to please Dana.”
The Book of Eli actor also appeared at The Better Man Event where he told the audience, “At 66, getting ready to be 67, having just buried my mother, I made a promise to her and to God, not just to do good the right way, but to honor my mother and my father by the way I live my life, the rest of my days on this Earth.”
“I’m here to serve, to help, to provide. In every prayer, you know. The ego is interesting, you just don’t know, but in every prayer all I hear is ‘feed my sheep.’ That’s what God wants me to do,” he asserted.
He would elaborate, ““I’m like, ‘wait a minute, what does that mean?’ Well, what I found out in the last couple of years of hearing it was that there’s all kinds of sheep, so that’s why I talk to the experienced shepherds to help guide me.”
Washington would also warn of selfishness and fame, “It [the Bible] says in the last days we’ll become lovers of ourselves. The number one photograph now is a selfie. So we all want to lead. We’re willing to do anything — ladies and young men — to be influential.”
“Fame is a monster and we all have these ladders and battles, roads we have to walk in our given lives. Be you famous or whoever’s out there listening, we all have our individual challenges. It’s cliché [but] money, don’t make it better. It doesn’t. Fame just magnifies the problems and the opportunities,” he later added.
The actor offered similar comments in an interview with The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, “What I do, what I make, what I made — all of that — is that going to help me on the last day of my life? It’s about, Who have you lifted up? Who have we made better?”
“This is spiritual warfare. So, I’m not looking at it from an earthly perspective. If you don’t have a spiritual anchor you’ll be easily blown by the wind and you’ll be led to depression,” he stated.
Touching on the subject of selfishness and desire for fame, Washington said, “The enemy is the inner me. The Bible says in the last days — I don’t know if it’s the last days, it’s not my place to know — but it says we’ll be lovers of ourselves. The No. 1 photograph today is a selfie, ‘Oh, me at the protest.’ ‘Me with the fire.’ ‘Follow me.’ ‘Listen to me.’”
We’re living in a time where people are willing to do anything to get followed. What is the long or short-term effect of too much information? It’s going fast and it can be manipulated obviously in a myriad of ways. And people are led like sheep to slaughter,” he continued.
The Tragedy of Macbeth released on Apple TV+ on January 14, 2022 and had a limited theatrical release beginning on December 25, 2021.
What do you make of Washington’s comments regarding diversity?