Denzel Washington Says Clint Eastwood Is Still His Hero

Denzel Washington is not about to join in on the bandwagon of ripping actor and director Clint Eastwood for his bizarre speech at the Republican National Convention. In fact, Washington said that he still holds Eastwood in the highest regard.

“I have the utmost respect for him as an actor and as a director,” Washington told The Associated Press. “He’s my hero.”

Denzel Washington comes down on a different side of the political fence than Clint Eastwood, at least in this respect. Washington supported President Barack Obama in 2008, though he said he prefers to think of himself as an independent and hasn’t committed to a side this year.

“I listen to both sides of the argument and try to make an assessment,” he said.

Even with his past support of Obama, Washington noted that he’s not about to take any cheap shots at the director he sees as an influence in his own career.

Unfortunately for Clint Eastwood, others have not been so kind. The speech was immediately ripped by Democrats, and Eastwood’s bizarre rhetorical device of addressing an empty chair meant to represent Obama was seen as bizarre and became joke fodder for comedians.

The speech has since turned into an internet meme known as Eastwooding, where a person addresses an empty chair.

But Denzel Washington isn’t the only person who stuck up for Clint Eastwood. Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait also came to his defense in a radio appearance for WBEZ 91.5.

Washington was in the nation’s capital along with Olympic champion Michael Phelps and R&B singer Ashanti for an event sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club of America.