Dr. Boyce: Denzel Was Brilliant, but an Oscar for His Latest Film Would Be Racist

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

The best thing about the South Side of Chicago is that it’s nothing like the stereotypes you see on TV.  Everything we see in the media about black men killing one another left and right, with gang bangers everywhere, is directly contradicted by the tree-lined streets and neighborhood fellowship that you see more often than not.  Sure, the bad stuff is out there, but there’s a lot of good stuff that is never going to be shown on Fox News.

Denzel’s latest film, “Flight,” (which I happened to see in Chicago this week) makes me think about the South Side of Chicago, because it reminds me of how black folks get the most attention from whites when we behave in a way that conforms to their preconceived notions of who we are.  Denzel, being the brilliant actor that he is, played a serial liar, irresponsible father and alcoholic/drug addict to a tee.  His performance in this film, like many others, is worthy of the Oscar buzz that he’s been receiving.

But if the Academy does decide to honor Washington with an Oscar, I’ll admittedly find myself a tad bit annoyed.  It’s so interesting how black people tend to be recognized the most when we play roles that fit into inaccurate stereotypes that fit white America’s vision of what it means to be “authentically black”:  They don’t recognize Denzel for his brilliant performance as Malcolm X, but they fawn over Morgan Freeman’s role in “Driving Miss Daisy.”  Halle Berry gets no Oscar Buzz when she plays Dorothy Dandridge, but they love her skankily-depressing performance in “Monster’s Ball.”  The bottom line is simple:  If a black person does a good impression of a thief, drug addict, prostitute, maid or athlete, you’ve got yourself a touchdown.  The worst thing you can do, however, is play a role that communicates intelligence, integrity or courage….that’s “not realistic.”

Denzel’s Academy Award for Best Actor came after he played a corrupt cop and flat out horrible human being in “Training Day.”  This was yet another case in which the Academy suddenly noticed that this Hollywood veteran has acting talent.  The fact is that Denzel is every bit as impressive when he plays an honorable man as he is when he plays a menace to society.  I’d rather see him in roles deserving of an NAACP Image Award than to have to stomach the site of a black American hero portraying the very worst that we can be as human beings.  Of course these roles all lie within the range of artistic freedom, but much of that so-called artistic freedom is actually the vision of greedy corporations seeking to sell movie tickets in a racist society.   So, in many cases, artistic freedom is merely an illusion and excuse to succumb to degrading behavior and poorly chosen imagery (see commercialized hip hop as exhibit A).

In the video below, I explain my thoughts more directly.  Again, I am not one to say that Denzel doesn’t deserve an award for this performance, but I grow tired of seeing black actors forced to debase themselves and play to racist stereotypes in order to be recognized.   In fact, they should boycott the Academy Awards altogether, since they really don’t mean a thing.

The video is here. 

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. He is also the creator of the Building Outstanding Men and Boys Family Empowerment Series. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.




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57 Responses to Dr. Boyce: Denzel Was Brilliant, but an Oscar for His Latest Film Would Be Racist

  1. Destitute American November 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Everytime an African-American gets an oscar it is racist because they had to be three times as talented to get the nomination in the first place. I say let Denzel get his due, however it happens in this messed-up country.

    • BigWill November 4, 2012 at 10:29 pm

      Racist caucasians have created a stock pile of dangerous weapons with the intent of killing you know who! The only response from AA’s to this serious threat is to continue buying more gold teeth, tattoos, hair extensions, alcohol, tobacco products, crack and other BS. Caucasians created a fake god- a white man to whom black ppl pray to each day and night. The book associated with this fake god- the Bible instructs black ppl to “Love thy enemy” and “Slaves obey your Masters”. Black people, your enemy is planning to wage an all-out war against you and your response is to- Love and Pray for them. Black ppl, please realize you must overcome your fear of cacasians which is responsible for your paralysis to this eminent violence. The time has come for black ppl to stop being slave minded drones to this wicked nation and fake religion.

  2. Really? November 2, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I agree with Dr. Watkins. ANY time a Black person has come up for an award, it’s been for a very damaged person, i.e. Halle Berry; Denzel; and that rap group that won for best song (“it’s hard out here for a pimp”).
    Even though there are great Black actors, they don’t get the recognition they deserve.

  3. Damon Davis November 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    So when he lose it’s racism? When he wins its also racist. Makes no sense. He was nominated for Malcolm X. Dorothy Dandridge was a cable tv movie and ineligible for Oscar consideration. So you’re doing what you accuse the white media of all the time. Skewing the facts to manipulate opinions

    • AfroTapp November 15, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      I agree Damon. After actually seeing the movie, it is a great movie. In no way does it demean Black people. It is a more accurate portrayal or real portrayal of a person dealing with alcoholism. Watching this film you don’t walk away saying Blacks are alcoholics, you walk way with the redemptive message of the film. This film seems in essence a redemptive film for persons dealing with substance abuse. Without it being preachy to show them the downfall of the person, career and family due to this sickness. All this other noise, i.e. white women, white hispanic women, and being a drunk, showing Black people in a bad light is being imposed onto this film. Yeah its their, but there are no statements about, as in he passes up a sister to get with the Hispanic lady. And just for the record Malcolm X was superb, but this was also. Racist, naw. Just good cinema. Hint! Most Oscars will probably go to those that have some strong conflict. They aren’t typically Sunday school choir boys or girls. Who would watch it on a mass scale.

  4. Damon Davis November 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    So when he lose it’s racism? When he wins its also racist. Makes no sense. He was nominated for Malcolm X. Dorothy Dandridge was a cable tv movie and ineligible for Oscar consideration. So you’re doing what you accuse the white media of all the time. Skewing the facts to manipulate opinions

  5. Rochon November 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Are you kidding me? I never reply to most articles, but this is ridiculous. If he does get an Oscar nomination for his role, then it is because of his acting in a role that he chose to take. No one held a gun to Denzel Washington’s head and said, “take this role because it will be degrading to you as a black man but you may get an Oscar nod.” Sometimes we, as black people, take things too far. Everything is not race related! Not everyone is sitting back thinking of a way to degrade us…hell, most of the time we do it to ourselves. To suggest that if Denzel receives an Oscar nomination for this because he played a role that fit into an inaccurate stereotype is ridiculous. He would receive the nomination because he’s an actor that played a character that is not him so to be able to step into a character, and make it your own, as if that was your real life self is what makes it Oscar worhty. He’s an actor and it’s a movie so stop always over analyzing things.

  6. D.C. November 2, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    I loved the movie. I have to admit I vacillated between anger and awe. My immediate emotion was that here is this accomplished brother who sleeps with Esmeralda and takes up with a white drug addict. By the end of the movie I understood that it was about being broken and finally taking account of your own brokenness. It is definitely, in my opinion, Oscar worthy.

    • Nixak November 4, 2012 at 2:36 am

      I’ve not seen Denzel’s new movie flight, but I’ve read the reviews & synopsis. He plays an experienced airline pilot, who is also an alcoholic coke-head & a dead-beat dad. He’s estranged from [?abandoned?] his first wife who’s Black [Deana], & whose 2 subsequent ‘lovers’ [= bed-mates] are also both DRUG ADDICTS [one white, the other Hispanic]. FYI: Experienced pilots for major US airlines earn between $100,000 – $250,000/yr, so Whip Whitaker’s [Denzel’s character in ‘Flight’] failure as a father & husband is not because he’s struggling & find a ‘good job’ to try to make it, but because his just an irresponsible dope-fiend / drunk – So even when so-called ‘liberal’ Holly-weird gives a brother a role in what should be a good / successful career, he’s still portrayed as a good for nuthin F-UP, both on the job & in life generally.
      Now I have no doubt that Denzel played this role for all it’s worth, after all he is one of the best actors [Black or white] of this era. But the white ‘liberal’ movie critic spin machine is hyping this as his best performance ever. OH Really??? Better than Denzel’s portrayals of Malcolm X, ‘Hurricane’ Carter, Steve Bikko [or even Frank Lucas for that matter]?!? I Seriously DOUBT IT!!!
      And Denzel has even portrayed note-worthy characters struggling to over-come addictions before, which got NO Oscar buzz- IE: Col Nat Serling in ‘Courage Under Fire’- where he’s struggle w a drinking problem from the traumatic affects of Gulf War I [syndrome], but overcomes it in a search for truth, personal conviction & dedication to his family [FYI: Neither did co-star Meg Ryan get any Oscar buzz in IMO one her best roles].
      Then there was Denzel’s portrayal of Maj Ben Marco in the remake of the classic ‘Manchurian Candidate’- where he struggled to deal w a nefarious covert MKULTRA induced addiction- but again NO Oscar buzz.

      Now in the age of Obama’s so-called ‘post-racial’ USA, Denzel is one of the most well known, admired & respected Black men besides Obama himself. Yet so-called ‘liberal’ Holly-weird casts Denzel in a role that could have easily been done by & is better suited for real-life addict Robert Downey Jr- except that he’s playing action comic-book super-hero ‘Ironman’ these days. So when Denzel portrays real-life Black heroes IE: Malcolm X, ‘Hurricane’ Carter, Steve Bikko ‘liberal’ Holly-weird finds all kinds of lame excuses not to give him the Oscar. But when he portrays a fictional Cunning Thug N*GG*R w a Badge & Gun [Alonzo in ‘Training Day’], or now a fictional Drunk / Dope-fiend / Dead-beat Dad [Whip Whitaker in ‘Flight’]- Holly-weird’s spin-machine can find every lame so-called ‘artistic’ reason why they should give him the Oscar.

      PS: For a more balanced review / synopsis of ‘Flight’ see: http://www.batman-on-film.com/on-film_review_FLIGHT_JAHyde_11-2-12.html

      • Nixak November 4, 2012 at 6:54 am

        To drive home the point RE: Holly-weird ‘honoring’ Denzel w his 1st & thus far only best-actor Oscar for Alonzo in ‘Training Day’, compare that to Holly-weird’s none response to Nick Nolte’s Lt Mike Brennan in Q & A [directed by the acclaimed late Sidney Lumet] & Richard Gere’s Dennis Peck in Internal Affairs co-starring Andy Garcia. Nolte & Gere also played corrupt cops in those roles, in fact they were SO Corrupt & EVIL they almost made Denzel’s Alonzo look like he was in grade school! Nolte’s Brennan was a evil killer racist w a badge & a gun reminiscent of a Mark Furhman type [before we even heard of Furhman]. And Gere’s Peck was just as evil except he wasn’t outright racist. These role’s were probably their grittiest ever, YET neither Nolte nor Gere got ANY Oscar buzz- let alone any Nominations.
        The point being why would ‘liberal’ Holly-weird hype Denzel playing a corrupt rouge cop w an Oscar, but didn’t even act like they would nominate Nolte nor Gere for playing the same type of roles- All the Way to the BUST?!? What’s the message that they’re sending???

        • Nixak November 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm

          Driving Home the Point Again: For All who keep saying- It’s Just a Movie, Denzel or anyone else could have played that role because its about human failings- not about race- blah, blah, blah.

          Consider this fact: There are 3 big name actors [w Denzel's name being the biggest of the 3] who are getting Oscar buzz for best actor this yr: Daniel Day Lewis for portraying Pres Lincoln, Bill Murray for portraying Pres FDR -&- Denzel for portraying a fictional drunk / dope-fiend / dead-beat dad… ENOUGH SAID!!!

  7. Dreday November 2, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    The only way to stop this type of stereotyping is to not spend your hard earned cash on it, which is what I do. Further more I am still pissed Denzel did not get the Oscar for glory which wasn’t surprising since in it he played a strong will brother who was angry about how he was being treated in a racist system.

  8. Ishmar Muhammad November 2, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    This Brother is on Deck like Popeye! You hit the Nail on the Head! I hate alot of these BS Movies like the Green Mile,For Colored Girls,The Color Purple soul plane such Coonery & Buffoonery tired of these Slick Crackers & these BraindeadNegroes too! I got an idea for a Movie Brothers in School lol Paul Mooney lol

    • Barbara November 3, 2012 at 11:40 am

      “Slick Crackers.” Big LOL

      By time Black people figure it out, Whites are on to their next trick on us.

  9. Virginia November 2, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Stop with the racist talk. Blacks are never satisfied. They critized the Color Purple, WHICH RECEIVED 13 NOMINATIONS. Blacks complained so much the Academy did not give them even one Oscar. Guess what? The same Black folk turned around and raised hell because the Color Purple did not get an Oscar. Stop already!
    Hollywood alaready has it figured out….You cannot please Black Folk. Thats why so many black actors are unemployed.

    • Dreday November 2, 2012 at 11:22 pm

      Yeah right troll , we raised hell because again here we had another movie based on stereotypes all the brothers were portrayed in a negative light. But you go ahead and keep sleep walking in your fantasy world like the Roman Empire your reign is just about up and you know it.

  10. Jennine November 2, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Dr. Boyce is right.

    Black actors are only honored and rewarded by the establishment when they portray murderers, drunks, drug addicts, prostitutes.

    Think about it. You’ll see that Dr. Boyce is 100% right.

    The aim is to make these negative lifestyles “normal” and “acceptable” to us – with awful consequences for our community.

    The other aim is to make the wider community believe that we really are all just a bunch murderers, drunks, drug addicts, and prostitutes.

    Color Purple…..Precious……..For Colored Girls…..and all of the movies like them tell the world “Black equals ugliness on the inside, and ugliness on the outside.” And this is insulting and offensive.

    • Barbara November 3, 2012 at 11:47 am

      Jennine you are so corret. Blacks are the number one targets of White Supremacy; but other groups are targeted too. Notice how those other groups aren’t sterotyped as much once their native countries begin to gain power in the world. Remember how they use to “squint” their eyes in movies to play Chinese characters? Let them do that today lol.

      As Africa becomes more advanced, you’ll notice a change for us as well. In the meantime, they are going to put us in Blackface again (Zoe Saladna as Nina Simone).

  11. Taunya November 2, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Hey maybe it was just a script for a good actor and the director who had worked with D.W before thought he would be the best actor to work with and betray the role well. although I do agree with all that you’ve said 100% as well. but it seems you are always looking at your own with negative eyes. Do some soul searching. Dr. Boyce what race are you. I hope not a Brother self hatred.

  12. Pat November 2, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    I totally agree with Dr. Watkins!

  13. Nixak November 2, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I haven’t seen this new Denzel movie ‘Flight’, but I feel where Dr Watkin’s is coming from. I had the same mixed feelings about Denzel winning best actor for ‘Training Day’. On one hand you want to see Denzel win a well deserved & over-due best actor award, yet why for Training Day? – Even though he’s such a brilliant actor he played Alonzo to the bust. IMO it would have been better had Denzel got an Oscar for portraying real-life Black gangster Frank Lucas in ‘American Gangster’ [for which he didn't even get nominated]- which IMO over-all was a better film than ‘Training Day’.

    But we’ve seen this type of thing from so-called ‘liberal’ Holly-weird, when it comes to depicting Blacks [& Browns] before time & again IE: The failure to give Denzel well deserved Oscars for his portrayals of Steve Bikko ['Cry Freedom'], Malcolm X [also note-worthy is that neither Spike Lee, Angela Bassett, nor Al Freeman Jr - even got nominated - though Ms Bassett {along w Lawrence Fishburne} got nominated the next yr for portraying that notorious love-hate relationship of Ike & Tina Turner], or Reuben ‘Hurricane’ Carter- because those real-life heroes were deemed to politically controversial- But then Holly-weird gives Denzel the Oscar for portraying “Training Day’s” Alonzo- a fictional Thug N*gg*r Rouge Cop- as if that wasn’t a politically controversial statement!
    The same yr Halle Berry becomes the first & thus far only ‘Black’ woman to win an Oscar for ‘Best Actress’ by portraying the bed-mate / bed-warmer of a southern racist jailer [from a family of southern racists] who executed her own Black Husband! Ms Berry, considered one of the Hollywood’s most beautiful women- ends up in semi-pornographic lust scenes not w the likes of Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise or even her co-star the late Heath Ledger – but w Billy-Bob Thorton!
    Then there’s the multi-academy award nominated ‘Color Purple’- which used its spectacularly beautiful cinema-photography to depict nearly all Black Men as Abusive Dogs, – or more recently the academy award winning [semi-pornographic] ‘Precious’- which depicted both the Black father & mother as outrageously despicable people [Precious was nominated for best picture & director & won best supporting actress for Mo'nique's portrayal of the despicable mother].
    Each of these assaults on Blackness got rave-reviews by mainly white ‘liberal’ movie critics – even as many/most Black commentators were appalled or even outraged! And each of these assaults on the Black Family had a not so subtle message – That its better for Black women [& children too] to be- w lesbians, with white men -even if they are racists who kill your own Black Husbands / Fathers / Sons, or to be all alone- rather than to be w Black Men! Thus these are in fact {racist} social-political statements masquerading as art & entertainment – which are part & parcel of the relentless on-going so-called ‘main-stream’ Terroristic assault on the Black Family!

    PS: Last yr Denzel played [IMO] one his most spiritually significant / important roles in ‘The Book Of Eli’, which of course received no Holly-weird buzz for Oscar nominations, in fact I’d not be surprised if most here have not even heard of it [How many here know that an important documentary on the life of Bob Marley came out earlier this yr?]. By comparison the movie ‘Precious’ [& even 'Monsters' Ball'] got Buzz [IE: Hyped] by so-called ‘liberal’ Holly-weird & white movie critics as Oscar worthy, even as most Blacks felt revulsion. Cause it ain’t like Monique is any-where near Denzel’s class & draw as an actor / celeb ['The Book of Eli' also co-starred Gary Olman]- but Buzz [= hype] often makes the difference, between an Oscar nominated / winning film & one that goes largely unnoticed.

    • Dreday November 3, 2012 at 12:11 am

      Thanks for the eloquent breakdown my brother well stated..

      • Barbara November 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm

        Let’s hope that Zoe Saladna’s career will take a downturn after she does Nina Simone in “BLACKFACE.”!!!

    • Nixak November 3, 2012 at 12:33 am

      PS: It must be noted that after Halle Berry won best actress for “Monsters’ Ball”- her acting career has been in the toilet ever since!

    • Christopher November 4, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      Wonderfully articulated. It is truly a shame that some still cannot come to grasp the reality of this particular situation even though it is and continue to stares them in the face. Let’s not forget the movie Red Tails last year that received very little praise and/or hype and had to be funded entirely by George Lucas because there were no other producers who felt a large Black Male cast would be a good investment.

      What I found really irritating about this particular situation was the ire it drew from some Black women because they felt they had no presence in the movie when the movie is about the Black men who undertook the journey overseas while the families were back home, yet and still had no problem with the movie “For Colored Girls” which portrayed a sisterhood among the Black women in the film positively at the expense of the image of the Black men in the film.

      • Nixak November 4, 2012 at 7:20 pm

        I often disagree w ‘liberal’ Holly-weird’s ideas of what’s Oscar-worthy & white movie critics think are good films- especially when it comes to Black films. IE: ‘Menace 2 Society’ got rave reviews from white ‘liberal’ movie critics while IMO better movies like ‘Deep Cover’ & ‘South Central’ got a Ho-HUM response [as did 'Red Tails']. In fact they were grudgingly forced to acknowledge the brilliance of Spike Lee’s ‘Malcolm X’ only due to Denzel’s masterful portrayal of him [yet it still got NO Oscar Buzz for best Director, Picture, supporting Actress {Angela Basset} & Actor {Al Freeman Jr].
        Then Denzel get’s shut out again for ‘Hurricane’ by that over-hyped weird & even a bit insidiously evil ‘American Beauty’ [best picture, director, & Kevin Spacey for best actor- PLEASE!!!!]. IMO Spacey & his co-stars Kate Winslet & Laura Linney were much better in ‘The Life of David Gale’ a IMO a film RE: a much more significant [& real] issue(s) than that over-hyped & wicked ‘American Beauty’. Yet the so called ‘liberally conscious’ critics dogged ‘David Gale’ – I guess it was just a bit too ‘political’.
        Other over-hyped / over-wrought so-called best Pictures by Holly-weird’s standards: ‘The English Patient’ [long & boring], ‘Broke-Back Mountain’ [Thank God 'Crash' Crashed It's Best-picture Party], Cabaret [WTF!!!].

        • Nixak November 4, 2012 at 7:49 pm

          PS 2: Though I liked ‘Titanic’ [it certainly had excellent special effects]- was it really better than ‘LA Confidential’? I Don’t Think SO!
          And was the theme song for ‘Inconvenient Truth’ better than any of ‘Dream Girls’ main songs? Absolutely NOT!

  14. Jayson November 3, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Psst! It’s acting and Mr. Washington is an actor! He is projecting characteristic traits that aren’t actually his.

  15. Patty November 3, 2012 at 12:14 am


    You should ask yourself why the Color Purple had so many Oscar nominations? For me, it is obvious: Hollywood loves it when Black are being portrayed as dysfunctional people with misogynist characters.

  16. Patty November 3, 2012 at 12:20 am


    I love your comment! You should write film reviews!

  17. Goldie G November 3, 2012 at 10:18 am

    I plan to see the movie and I believe Denzel was involved in the production as well. As far as the south side of Chicago, the reason why people feel that way about it is because of the prolific violence in that area. It is up to us to show other sides of the coin, we cannot wait for them to show it for us. Black unemployment is a staggering issue, it will take strategic measures to address the issues that plague our community. Institutionalized racism and our own lack of education and pride in our appearance and attitude. I must mention in Pa I have seen people who were once incarcerated now being given a chance to work and are gainfully employed. We must keep pressing forward and not only point out the negative just to keep controversy and readership up – Boyce.

  18. Simba November 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Arguments are stronger when the facts are correct – Denzel Washington DID win the Oscar for Glory.

    I saw Flight yesterday, and what struck me were how many roles were portrayed by black actors: the senior flight attendant, the NTSB investigator, the ex-wife and son, the bodyguard, and Whitaker’s (Denzel) lawyer, played by Don Cheadle. That’s significant black employment for Hollywood. None of those roles was ‘stereotypical’, and neither was Denzel’s. Until the flaws in were revealed, Denzel’s character was a lauded hero who saved many lives. It was a wonderfully complex role that ANY actor would be delighted to portray.

  19. C138 November 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I agree that Training Day was a negative role (and in my opinion, an unworthy win – he was much better in Malcolm X or The Hurricane), but what about Denzel’s first Oscar win for his performance in Glory? You don’t mention that anywhere in the article but I wouldn’t consider that a negative portrayal.

  20. AMAZINGGRACE November 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I disagree with Dr, Boyce. The lead character is an Airline Captain, not co-pilot……And Denzel won his first Oscar portraying a slave that didn’t take sh*t from anybody…..Denzel picks and chooses his projects wisely. Kudos to Mr. Washington for once again delivering a realistic portrayal of a “human being”. We all have flaws, black or white….

  21. AMAZINGGRACE November 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    @Dreday, Denzel Washington received his first Oscar, for Supporting Actor in, Glory….

  22. blackd November 3, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Good point Dr. Boyce. I agree, however actors take acting roles because it’s their job. This is another example of the hollywood white supremacy machine, but what can an actor do? Black actors would have to start their own separate network to finally escape from playing the negative stereotypes, and hollywood would do everything in their power to prevent that from happening. I think the black community needs to be more educated about white supremacy, it’s goals, etc, so that when we see it manifested on the screen, we understand what’s going on. The more I study white supremacy the less any of this crap upsets or confuses me. I feel empowered by knowing how white supremacists operate and try to eff up the minds of our community and our youth.

  23. Deloris November 3, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    The pilot could have been anyone. D W was just acting, that is all that I saw the pilot could have been any race. It is just so happen he was casted a black person. Now if the actor’s were not getting any work we would be complaining. And who care about an Oscar. I don’t have time to watch that stuff. It was just plain good acting for DW in the FLight Movie.

  24. IntelliLady November 4, 2012 at 12:45 am


    He’s an ACTOR — AND A DAMN GOOD ONE!!! He’s not running for President, Congress or any political office… but, he sure as hell gives back to his community and alma mater… He’s HAPPILY married with a beautiful wife and family… Can’t you give the man some dap on that?!? Who wants to hear this b*t*h bashing you’re doing?!? You sound trite, jealous and insecure!!!

    Boyce, your commentary USED TO BE so enlightening… uplifting… and supportive… WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?!? Damned if you ain’t sounding like TRAVESTY SLIMEY, and CORNY WEST…


  25. patrice November 4, 2012 at 7:43 am

    I agree 1oo percent with Dr Watkins. This is the way they see all Black Americans. D is a very gifted actor. I was hurt and insulted when he won the Training Day Oscar.He has made numerous movies that an Oscar could have been awarded but all they see us as thugs and whores.They will never see us as human beings.This is the reason they went to Africa and stole diamond s and brought our people over here to build America.They never,ever speak about Slavery. All they talk about is how great their America is, .Stole from Indian .Here me now there will not be an America, at the rate Tonadoes,Hurricanes, snow,sleet, will erase America and who will they enslave to rebuild ,if America is left.One Day I will be dead and gone but pay back is coming.Critical Thinking Black ffolkspeople

  26. Sherrie November 5, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Its ashame that some black ppl couldnt recognize racism right in their faces, so in denial smdh its disgusting. I see why our community is the hardest to rebuild and get back on track too my brainwashed…sad so sad

  27. Norman hensley November 5, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Its a movie for crying out loud.
    Denzel can play anything.lets hope he wins the acadamy award not hate.

  28. Freda November 6, 2012 at 1:42 am

    Denzel sucks and is ugly as hell. Please let all his white trsah women have him.

  29. byron November 6, 2012 at 6:14 am

    Boyce Watkins is simply a jealous fool. He loves putting down accomplished black people yet pretending to love and respect them. He is envious of Pres. Obama and apparently Denzel. Oscars are rarely awarded for ‘positive’ roles regardless of the race of the actor. Tom Hanks won twice for playing an irrsponsible, AIDS afflicted homosexual and a buffoon; Robert DeNiro won portraying a psychopathic killer in ‘Taxi Driver’; Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and Sean Penn all won protraying murderous gangsters! Nicholas Cage won for portraying an alcoholic, drug addicted loser in Vegas. Charlize Theron won for potraying a serial killer; the great Jack Nicholson won twice portraying a coockoo in an asylum, and a crazy, mean, selfish old f***** . Gene Hackman won twice for portraying a murderous thug; the list goes on and on! Yet, Jennifer Hudson won as a courageous, triumphant singer; Morgan Freeman won as a wise old boxing trainer; Sidney Poitier won as a confident, intelligent, self assured black man in the 60′s! So Dr. Watkins, you need to do more research before spouting nonsense! And by the way, Halle could not have won an Oscar for ‘Meeting Dorothy Dandridge’ because it was a television biopic, not a motion picture. But, Halle did win the television Emmy Award for Best Actress for that role. Shame on you Dr. Watkins.

  30. byron November 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Sorry, its not ‘Meeting Dorothy Dandridge’; that should be ‘Introducing Dorothy Dandridge’.

  31. Love for All November 8, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    The truth of the matter is that racism does still exist no matter where you go. But you have to ask yourself: will you allow this issue to make you a better or worst person? Those of you who believe he shouldn’t get the Oscar are actually the ones who perpetuate this issue as well as the people who have instigated it. We need to stop conforming to idea of racism. Consider this: what if the role was written for a white male and he played it well, should he get the Oscar? If yes, then you could say Denzel did the same thing and deserves his just reward. We have to stop pulling the race card on one another. We won’t be able to do this by tearing each other down. So you think there needs to be more positive images of Black males then create them or support film makers and actors who provide the service. But know that acting is an art and it is subjective, everyone will see it differently. No one being more right then the other. But every is entitled to their interpretation.

  32. Terron November 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I agree with Dr. Watkins. I am well aware of the convoluted history Hollywood’s portrayal of black folk in cinema. When it comes to film, I always view it with that context in mind because nothing exists in a vacuum. I saw the film llast weekend and enjoyed the film and Denzel’s performance. I thought….another classic character, by Denzel. Portraying a flawed man, I thought he brought a certain level of integrity to the role, one emtpy of stereotypes and cliches. The role could have been played by Leo Dicaprio or any other good white actor and I would have been just as satisfied with the performance. However, I knew a backlash would be coming soon. Society, media in this instance, has a perception of us that we have been branded with for hundreds of years. Any person who doesn’t fit with that derogatory mold they have for us, is not lauded, rewarded or given noteworthy attention. In Hollywood’s case, pimps, spouse abusers, maids, drug addicts & dealers, mammies, appers, athletes, jesters, magic negroes, white saviors are the norm for black themes. There is comfort for white audiences to see these types of films to further perpetuate the myth of white superiorty or simply confirm their opinions of black life. As Ishmael Reed said, there’s big bucks in black pathology. The recent love affair that white America has with the show The Wire, The Help and The Blindside comes to mind. White America fawns over those type of films. While The Great Debators, one of my favorite flicks….totally ignored. Here’s a film with a great story, well acted…devoid of cliched nonsense and it got no recognition by white media. They don’t want show us at our best and brightest. The fact remains the stereotypical themes and roles which show us at our worst are critically and commercially acclaimed.

  33. Bprosper November 16, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Hi Dr Boyce. I just read your analysis regarding Denzel Washington. I had just finished watching “flight” and know its oscar material, as usual for my favorite all time actor and one of my favorite “fascinating” people. I chanced upon your message while looking up whether or not he was nominated for one of my two favorite Denzel movies, “The Hurricane”. Although I agree with your view that he should have definately been more recognized for The Hurricane, Remember the Titans, and Malcolm X, I think “Flight” has a place right up there with the three movies I just listed. You see sir, that is my dads story minus the coming to terms with truth and being truly free. Alcohol and substance abuse do not discriminate and the children that are brought up with dads that abuse have to live with knowing, as in my case and the young man in the movie’s case, that we don’t know the most “fascinating” person we would like to know. My dad and Denzel’s character are both remarkable people that found destructIve ways to deal with their pain, whatever that pain may be. I wasn’t alone my good friend in high school had to live with her dad falling to the same thing. Unless you can tell me that you personally lived a life like mine, please do not assume that this is a racist movie. You have no idea how I connected to the message in this movie and how I pray that I can watch it with my dad one day in hopes of achieving what the son in the movie achieved. Please don’t make this about racism. My skin is pale peach (no such thing as white unless u r an albino). My dad was in a war and he dealt with Hos issues by drinking himself almost to death. Like this character he put on amazing fronts. No one knew but us. This is a break through movie that delivers a breakthrough message. I’m still crying. Please don’t belittle this message by turning into something that it’s not. I agree with the others. but not this one. Thank you Mr Washington and God bless you. I hope my dad will one day have the courage your character displayed so I can really get to know who he really is. God bless u too Mr Boyce. You forgot to mention that whoppi should have gotten the best actress for “the Color Purple”. That’s on my top 10 with the others I listed before. I hope this helps.

  34. truthbeliever November 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Thank you Byron for your response to the article. I still cannot grasp why so many people are eager to jump on the race wagon. Can’t a movie just be a good movie? Does it always have to be about complexion? We all get that racism is alive and well, but not everything is a race issue. Making everything a race problem only undermines the critical issues.

    Thank you too, BProsper for your story. I pray for you and your father and wish your family well. Don’t lose hope. You don’t have to explain or apologize for the color of your skin. There are many people who love you and care about your well-being simply because you are one of God’s creations.

  35. Aziz Muhammad November 28, 2012 at 6:25 am

    This is absolute truth, as long is based, in buffoonery , on drugs , prostitution , drug dealing (er), that is the light white people see the blackman and women , and children as well. In movies such as losing Isaiah. We have to began to reverse this sterotypes as black people , in particularly the black male in soceity.

  36. Jah Larry Dread November 28, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Cry Freedom (1987). Character: Steve Biko
    Glory (1989). Character: Private Trip
    Mo’ Better Blues (1990). Character: Bleek Gilliam
    Mississippi Masala (1991). Character: Demetrius Williams
    Malcolm X (1992). Character: Malcolm X (or just ‘X’)
    The Pelican Brief (1993). Character: Gary Grantham
    Philadelphia (1993). Character: Joe Miller
    Crimson Tide (1995). Character: Lieutenant Commander Ron Hunter
    Courage Under Fire (1996). Character: Nat Serling
    The Preacher’s Wife (1996). Character: Dudley
    The Bone Collector (1999). Character: Lincoln Rhyme
    Remember the Titans (2000). Character: Coach Herman Boone
    Training Day (2001). Character: Alonzo
    John Q (2002). Character: John Quincy Archibald (or ‘John Q’)
    Man on Fire (2004). Character: Creasy
    The Manchurian Candidate (2004). Character: Ben Marco
    American Gangster (2007). Character: Frank Lucas
    Great Debaters (2007). Character: Melvin B Tolson.
    Book of Eli (2010). Character: Eli. He also produced this movie.
    Safe House (2012). Character: Tobin Frost.

    Denzel Washington should have won Oscars for the list above…I’m sure many women would agreee that Denzel should get an Oscar for just walking! LOL!

    • Nixak November 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      You left-out ‘The Hurricane’ (1999)

      Cry Freedom [nominated - likely should have won]
      Glory [won best supporting actor - but why didn't Morgan Freeman also at-least get nominated?]
      Mississippi Masala [could have been nominated]
      Malcolm X [Most Definitely Should Have WON]
      Philadelphia [could have been nominated for best supporting actor]
      Crimson Tide [Likely should have been nominated]
      Courage Under Fire [likely should have been nominated]
      The Hurricane [Most Definitely Should Have WON]
      Remember the Titans [could have been nominated]
      Training Day [Won but should NOT have]
      Man on Fire [could have been nominated]
      The Manchurian Candidate [likely should have been nominated]
      American Gangster [should have been nominated]
      Book of Eli [should have been nominated]

      • Nixak November 29, 2012 at 9:03 pm

        AND: Spike Lee’s ‘Malcolm X’ also should have been nominated for Best: picture & director [Lee], supporting actress [Angela Basset as Betty Shabazz], supporting actor [Al Freeman Jr as Elijah Muhammed]

  37. Dee November 28, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    I really don’t see what the big deal is. The reason why the movie is Oscar worthy is because Mr. Washington is such a great and believable actor! I saw the movie and the main character could have been white or black. How do you equate that to racism?

    • Nixak November 30, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      IMO You Should Consider this fact: There are 3 big name actors [w Denzel's name being the biggest of the 3] who are getting Oscar buzz for best actor this yr: Daniel Day Lewis for portraying Pres Lincoln in his {over}Hyped ‘Fight’ to end slavery, Bill Murray for portraying Pres FDR -&- Denzel for portraying a fictional drunk / dope-fiend / dead-beat dad… ENOUGH SAID!!!

  38. corbin56 December 2, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Geeze, why does EVERYTHING have to be racist?? It seems as though we just nit pick at every little thing and scream “RACIST”. Give it a rest…please. This sort of thing is tiresome.

  39. Toppergem December 3, 2012 at 8:59 am

    The real con is being done by Dr. Boyce Watkins. He is always, always trying to stir up some nonsense where there is nothing really to discuss. Dr. Watkins is saying nothing new in his review of this movie. Hollywood is like the rest of America…full of everything…with racism being only a part of the story. Dr. Watkins, do more than call things out…do something to change what you don’t agree with. One article, or several articles on blog such as this will not do anything.

    If those of you and others who are posting here have such great concerns about how Blacks are shown in the movies…get your own studio and tell your own stories. Stop going to the movies and looking at stories that show Blacks in such a negative light!!! Don’t support the industry with your dollars and help what you don’t like continue to survive. Easier said than done isn’t it!!

  40. Will you post same articles to this blog? I`d like to read


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