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Denzel Washington Talks #OscarsSoWhite and Lack of Diversity at Academy Awards: ‘I’ve Lived It’

"I've been the guy at the Oscars without my name being called. I've been the guy at the Oscars when my name is called."

Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in Fences movie


Paramount Pictures

Actor and filmmaker Denzel Washington already has two Oscars and six total nominations under his belt, but the long-time Hollywood star doesn’t have any illusions about the state of diversity in his chosen craft, especially as it applies to the Academy Awards and other awards bodies, which are still struggling with the issue of diversity.

On this week’s episode of “60 Minutes,” Washington sounds off on #OscarsSoWhite, his own experiences and his brand new film, “Fences” (which, yes, is currently considered an Oscar contender). CBS has released a quick clip of Washington’s interview, wherein he gets honest about the issues at hand.

READ MORE: ‘Fences’ Trailer: Denzel Washington Could Direct Viola Davis All The Way To The Oscars

When asked about what he thinks about the lack of diversity at the Oscars, Washington said, “I don’t have to think about it. I’ve lived it.”

He added, “I’ve been the guy at the Oscars without my name being called. I’ve been the guy at the Oscars when my name is called. I’ve been the guy at the Oscars when everybody thought they were going to call my name and they didn’t. I’ve lived it.”

Still, Washington appears to be an ardent believer in perseverance as the real agent of change. “If you’re looking for an excuse, you’ll find one,” he said about the current state of the Oscars. “Can’t live like that. Just do the best you can do.”

READ MORE: ‘Fences’ Review: Viola Davis and Denzel Washington Are Sensational In a Solid August Wilson Adaptation Without Any Curveballs

Check out the clip from Washigton’s appearance on “60 Minutes” below. Washington’s full interview will be broadcast on “60 Minutes,” on Sunday, December 18 at 7:30PM ET and 7PM PT.

“Fences” is in limited release today, with expansion to follow on Christmas Day.

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