Denzel Washington Left Katie Couric “Shaken” After Tense 2004 Interview


Denzel Washington was just been called out by news anchor, Katie Couric, for leaving her “feeling kind of shaken” after an “uncomfortable” interview in 2004 in which he went after her for asking him whether actors should involve themselves in political discussions. Katie appeared on Danny Pellegrino’s Everything Iconic podcast on Monday (April 27th), where she told the host about Denzel’s “weirdly uncalled for” reaction to her question. “I don’t think I said anything wrong,” Katie told Danny. “I don’t know what happened. I love him. I admire him so much. He’s one of my favourite actors. But I remember walking out feeling kind of shaken that he had gone after me in a way that was completely weirdly uncalled for.”

Katie Couric Denzel Washington 2004 interview shaken uncomfortableEmma McIntyre/Getty Images for MAKERS

The interview took place almost 16 years ago while the actor was promoting the political thriller, The Manchurian Candidate, with Meryl Streep and Jonathan Demme. Due to to the nature of the film, Katie felt it appropriate to ask Denzel whether he agreed with the statement that “Hollywood folks should stick to acting.”

Katie Couric Denzel Washington 2004 interview shaken uncomfortableErik Voake/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

“I don’t know what Hollywood folks are, first of all,” the Oscar winner proceeded to reply. “Hollywood is a town that has some stars on the sidewalk. I don’t know anybody from there…That’s like calling you a ‘type’ of folks. I’m not a Hollywood folk. I don’t know who they are.” Katie corrected herself, saying, “OK, all right, well, let me rephrase the question. Are you one of those people that–” However, he interrupted her before she could finish: “Ah, there you go,” he said. “‘Am I one of those people?’ Hmmm, isn’t that interesting?” Katie attempted to explain her question further, but he wouldn’t allow her. “No, don’t stop. I heard what you just said. ‘Am I one of those people?’ No, I’m not.” Katie tried a third time to rephrase her question, beginning to ask, “Are you an actor who would rather not–” but she was interrupted again. “No, I’m not that either,” he said. “I’m a human being. My job is acting.”

Despite their tense interaction, she told the podcast host that Denzel later “wrote a big cheque” to her colon cancer foundation, which she suspected may have been his way of apologizing. “I think he must have been having a really bad day,” she concluded. Listen to the full episode of Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino below:



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