‘We’re Not Nominated When We Do Honorable Work’: Jamie Foxx And Kerry Washington Speak On Hollywood And Black Actors
Django Unchained stars Kerry Washington and Jamie Foxx recently sat down with The Grio‘s Chris Witherspoon to discuss their new film, which follows the story of a slave who frees himself from slavery and then goes back to rescue his wife. The two A-listers opened up to Chris about some touchy subjects including Kerry not being Emmy-nominated for her outstanding work in Scandal as well as the common belief that Black actors are frequently overlooked when it comes to award nominations in Hollywood. Check out some of the interview’s highlights.
On Kerry not getting the recognition she deserves:
Kerry: I feel really grateful to have a job and to be able to do what I love for a living and to work with people who I respect and admire. I do this because I love to do it, not because I have a desire to have attention.
Jamie: Well, I think she should be nominiated. I think it’s right to feel that way.Because sometimes you look at people that do get nominated and you go [makes confused face]… but I tell people, Kerry Washington has yet begun to fight.
On if they’d be opposed to getting an Oscar nomination for playing slaves:
Kerry: I don’t think you can ever control how people respond to the work. I’ve never had shame in playing somebody who is a slave or a prostitute, or anybody who may be looked down upon in society. I think we all deserve to have our stories told no matter who we are. And if I’m proud of playing a woman who is handling a crises, I’m gonna be proud of playing a woman who is a maid. My story doesn’t deserve to be told more than my grandmother’s story. My grandmother did clean houses. My great great grandmother was a slave. Everybody deserves to have their story told. There’s no shame in who we are or who we’ve been.
Jamie: A lot of times we’re not nominated when we do honorable work. Because with the slave she [Washington] plays there is dignity in everything she played. It wasn’t subservient; she wasn’t giving up to anything. So a lot of times they do overlook that, they may not want to reward that.
Check out the interview on the next page. How do you feel about Hollywood’s tendency to overlook Black actors?