Denzel Washington’s Very Specific Kissing Policy for Movies

There are certain things that some actors won’t do and might even have a personal policy for thanks to something that happened in the past or a personal set of beliefs that prohibits them from acting out certain scenes. Back in the day when Denzel Washington starred with Julia Roberts in The Pelican Brief, there was apparently a moment when Roberts and Washington were supposed to kiss, but Denzel didn’t want to do it. He had nothing against Julia and even said as much, but the reason he didn’t kiss her, and this is going to blow a few minds no doubt, is because she’s white. Now before anyone goes off ranting and raving that Denzel is proving the racism goes both ways, it’s nothing like that, well, not in a seriously derogatory manner that might insist that Denzel doesn’t like white people.

But there is an explanation that might take people to sigh and wonder about those that are always shouting about unity and how people are people no matter what color they are when it’s discovered that black women were actually calling Denzel a sell-out for kissing a white woman in an earlier movie. In The Mighty Quinn he actually ended up kissing Mimi Rogers, who is very white, and yes, black people lost their minds over this in some cases. But after the backlash, Denzel decided to adopt a policy about kissing that wouldn’t allow him to kiss another white woman on screen since quite a few people were adamant that such a thing didn’t need to be seen. It’s enough to make a person roll their eyes since there are likely a few women out there that wouldn’t mind locking lips with this star and don’t fully understand the logic of the policy.

But that’s how it is apparently and Denzel’s happy to keep the personal policy if it keeps fans happy. Kissing in the movies looks rather personal anyway, but at the same time it’s something that keeps a scene real, and a lot of actors understand that it’s an act, a professional bit of pretend that doesn’t make anyone a sell-out or any less of an actor or person of color for that matter. Those that want to keep up with such divisive talk and then condemn others for being racists are amusing really since PDA in the movies is about as real as the movie itself, and each actor knows better than to think that it’s anything other than what people expect, another function of the job. If one looks around at other movies they’ll see members of every race and color mingling in a way that is needed for the given movie, and while keeping to one’s own race and color is definitely something that is seen in the real world as well as the movies, there is still the reality that people do mix it up now and then since things have advanced quite a bit over the years no matter how much some folks want to clamor about the ‘lack of diversity’. From female POC roles to mixing many different races into a single movie, things have improved a lot over the years, and yes, people of different color and ethnic backgrounds have performed a wide variety of scenes that might have been considered taboo back in the day.

There’s no ire or even irritation towards Denzel since like any free-thinking individual he’s bound to do what he thinks is right and what he believes will keep the fans happy. But those that want to call him a sell-out for daring to kiss Mimi Rogers might have forgotten what it means to work for a living and to do what’s required to earn one’s paycheck. Like it or not, actors are expected to ACT, which means to take on various scenes and make them work with the story. It has little to nothing to do with selling out, nor does a black man kissing a white woman mean that he’s given up his integrity for a paycheck. It means that he’s doing his job, helping his career, and furthering the story in the manner it was written. If all it took to destroy a person’s credibility was to kiss someone from a different race or someone of a different color, then one has to wonder how many sell-outs there really are in Hollywood. If that was the case, seriously, then a lot of movies couldn’t have been made since the idea of people of color kissing white people would have ruined the chances of several movies from ever getting made. Seriously, Denzel’s decision is his own to make, but anyone calling any actor a sell-out for kissing a person of a different color might not have seen movies such as Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and A Bronx Tale. It might be time for some folks to join the present.

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