Denzel Washington has heard all the talk about fake news and he isn’t buying the story that our non-fake news can be trusted to come from the mainstream media. Instead, the Academy Award-winning actor blasted mainstream media with a critique that they certainly won’t appreciate.
While it seems odd for a reporter to ask a legendary actor like Denzel Washington a question about fake news while he was doing press for a movie, the answer he gave was stunning and wise. Denzel didn’t seem caught off guard at all in the report from CNS News, almost like he really wanted to say something about the latest catch phrase.
During a recent screening for Denzel’s new movie Fences at the African American Museum of History and Culture in Washington, D.C., a reporter asked him what he thought of “fake news.” Denzel replied, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed.”
“So what do you do?” the reporter asked.
“That’s a great question. What is the long-term effect of too much information? One of the effects is the need to be first, not even to be true anymore.”
“So what responsibility do you all have?” Denzel asked before answering his own question. “To tell the truth. Not just to be first. But to tell the truth.”
Denzel Washington Calls Out Media: If You Read The Newspaper, ‘You’re Misinformed’ https://t.co/AcAVUpeXKd
— S•E•R•I•E•S (@NivoStars) December 21, 2016
“We live in a society now where it’s just first, who cares, get it out there,” Washington continued. “We don’t care who it hurts. We don’t care who we destroy. We don’t care if it’s true. Just say it, sell it.”
“Anything you practice you’ll get good at — including BS,” Denzel Washington told the reporter. “But you heard me. Does that make sense?”
Denzel Washington is one of Hollywood’s most iconic actors. Now it looks like he is also a spokesperson for the way mainstream media should conduct themselves. Is Denzel right? Considering all of the talk lately about fake news and the effect that it had (or didn’t have) on our recent presidential election, he is calling for the more well known news sources to also stay on their game, report the news fairly and honestly and stop fighting to be the first one to publish.
Washington has been on a publicity tour for his new film Fences with Viola Davis. Denzel stopped in many cities before making one last appearance in Pittsburgh to pay homage. Fences is the movie adaptation of a play by August Wilson and is set in his hometown of Pittsburgh.
— Pittsburgh CityPaper (@PGHCityPaper) December 21, 2016
According to the Times, Fences will open on Christmas Eve and has already been nominated for Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards.
“August Wilson is one of the greatest writers, not just in American history, but in world history,” Washington said during his Pittsburgh stop. “It is a pleasure and honor, a responsibility and a privilege, to bring this to the screen. The responses have been more than we could have imagined.”
So where do we go from here with the fake news craze? Is it really fair to point the finger at the smaller news outlets and label them as fake without holding the mainstream media to a higher standard? It seems that Denzel Washington wants all media held to a higher standard, to stop worrying about having a story out first in the race to get as many page views as possible. Instead, Denzel wants media sources to worry more about being fair and accurate, he made that pretty clear.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]