Belfast Telegraph

I've lived Oscars' lack of recognition for black actors, says Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington has spoken of his first-hand experience of how the Oscars can fail to recognise actors of diversity.

The Hollywood star, who has won two Academy Awards during his career from six nominations, said he has "lived" the lack of recognition for non-white actors.

In an interview with CBS due to air on Sunday in the US, Washington said: "I've lived it. I've been the guy at the Oscars without my name being called.

"When my name is called ... when everybody thought they was going to call my name and they didn't."

He told actors complaining about the Academy process: "Yeah, and so what? You going to give up? If you're looking for an excuse, you'll find one."

Asked if race was an excuse, Washington replied: "You can find it wherever you like.

"Can't live like that. Just do the best you can do."

His comments come after a lack of diversity among the nominees at this year's Oscars sparked a debate about race in the film industry.

None of the nominees for the best actor and actress and best supporting actor and actress categories were from an ethnic minority, prompting film star Will Smith and director Spike Lee to boycott the ceremony in February.

The hashtag OscarSoWhite also became a rallying cry on social media for dissatisfied film stars and fans.

Washington's latest film, Fences, which he directed and starred in, has been tipped to earn him a nomination for next year's Oscars.

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