Fact-check, please: is Denzel Washington a racist?

I was reading this clickbait article (so sue me) when I came across this section:

Can you imagine a white actor refusing a romantic arc with a black actor because they were black? The outcry would be thunderous.

My first thought is that this must be false, so can someone more familiar with his films confirm that he only does romance arcs with black women?

How would that be racist? It’s a political action intended to combat existing racism. This is some “intolerance of bigotry is also bigotry” doublespeak bullshit.

And no, he has had romances with non-Black women - Mississippi Masala, for one.

His request seems reasonable.

Why would you question if something is racist when they’re is clearly a non-racist explanation? And that explanation is in your own freaking cite.

What reason would the imaginary white actor give for only wanting white romantic, on-screen partners? To increase the presence of attractive white women in film, as they’ve been historically excluded? Now I’m picturing Celine Dion in The Bodyguard.

Sorry, but it seems firmly racist to me.

You’re right, baring some reasonable alternative reason for making such a demand that I can’t come up with at the moment, the outcry would be thunderous. And rightly so.

I’m reminded of the film “To Kill a Mockingbird”. A black man (Tom Robinson) falsely accused of raping a white woman is giving his account of the events. He vividly recalls the revulsion he felt when the white woman put her hands on him.

Of course, his reaction was due to the knowledge of what would happen to him if anyone found out - white racists would kill him.

But by the logic of the OP, it’s clear: Tom Robinson, a black man who didn’t want to have sex with a white woman in the Jim Crow south, was the real racist.

Shocking that I never realized that before.

Happens all the time - in certain sections of the film industry especially. Not a lot of outcry (spoilered for possibly NSFW)

Yes, that’s definitely racist, and I’m surprised there’s no outcry - or maybe there is but since I’m not into forums about porn I don’t see it?

If it’s only confined to porn forums, then it’s not really an outcry, is it?

Sure, taken out of context.

Rather than your OP - which is its own form of clickbait implying that you’re revealing some shocking fact about Washington in particular - you might as well start a thread asking whether all affirmative action is racism. Which is not a particularly original claim.

Denzel + Angelina Jolie in The Bone Collector

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I disagree. I don’t think the context is relevant.

That’s a stupid comment. I’m asking if the claim made in the article is true

I’ve not seen that film but according to Wikipedia he’s only implied to have a relationship.

No, you’re asking more than that.

So his stated reason of “to advance [black women’s] visibility and validity in Hollywood.” because “Black women are not often seen as objects of desire on film.” means nothing to your understanding? If he had just said “I don’t like white women”, it would not have made any difference to you?

Disclaimer: I am a white, cis lady.

If I get you properly, you aren’t asking us to judge whether or not it is racist. You have declared it so. You just want to know if he said it. The answer? Possibly. Googling gets you a result that includes an interview with an actor that says otherwise - that he feared the white, male, reaction of seeing a black man with a white woman. Link https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/in-flight-denzel-washington-white-women-and-turbulence/2012/11/04/74c50b12-26c6-11e2-9972-71bf64ea091c_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b28f1fc4c200

Now is it actually racist? I think we, as white folks, need tougher skin. IMO, there is nothing wrong in Washington saying to an audience through film choices that a black man doesn’t aspire to a white woman. Why wouldn’t he use his clout to show his fan base that they are attractive, that they have as much right to being the pinnacle of desire and the hero’s reward? (NB, women are not things, but Hollywood is only just catching on there)

And even with his supposed preference for a black on-screen partner, there are layers in that, too. I’d be curious to see which had lighter complexions- which you may or may not realise is still an insidious way in which we’ve internalised racism.

Kelly Reilly in Flight.

Ok, if you want me to spell out what you’re doing, it’s the fallacy of the loaded question.

Washington’s personal choices (if true) are about as mild and uncontroversial a form of affirmative action as one could possibly imagine.

You have loaded your OP with an unfounded assumption that affirmative action is racism. You want to frame your OP as a simple question about whether Washington is doing what the article claims he is doing, expecting us to grant your assumption that such choices are racism.

I’m challenging this unstated assumption with which you have loaded your OP. Of course you think that’s stupid, because it doesn’t suit your purposes. The more important question is whether your assumption is true, not what one particular actor may have done.

To be fair, the majority of threads started by the o.p. are essentially manufactured outrage, generally either over some kind of gender discrimination toward men or feigned concern for racial bias toward whites, only occasionally punctuated by complaints about service in a restaurant which is resolved not by addressing the issue to a manager but leaving an “insult tip”. So shame on me and you for clicking on the thread and validating the drama.

Do you believe that context is ever relevant? Or should we be outraged any time there is any kind of difference of opinion between a black person and a white person, and question whether the black person is a racist because of it?