Actor Malik Yoba Believes Denzel Washington Doesn’t Have Much Range

December 27, 2012  |  
Credit: Shutterstock

From EurWeb

Actor Malik Yoba is doing his thing on both the big and small screens with his role in “The Alphas” and the military film, “Allegiance.”

During an interview with, he chatted about an opportunity to portray Martin Luther King, Jr. in an upcoming TV movie. But more importantly, he discussed his thoughts about Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker and Katt Williams.

Let’s cut right to the good stuff.


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  • applesauce585

    I get what Malik Yoba is saying. I don’t think it was “criticism or HATE”, just an observation.

  • shame on you

    I have loved Maik Yoba…sence New York Undercover….but as i saw him in other things he is the same person all the time…Mr. Washingtons becomes the person he;s playing WOW…REALLY

  • I never understand why black people are so quick to tear each other down. Even if he believed this he didn’t have to say it. And what has he done? He is in some B series on Sci-Fi channel that I don’t think was extended.

  • Fench

    You guys should check out the original inteview on BET’s website. He explains it all and he even comments in the the comment section. It wasn’t hate at all. I love Denzel but I’m so bored with his movies. They are all the same. He’s always the same. I always hear actors talking about wanting to expand and be given opportunities to step outside their “usual” character. Heath Ledger (RIP), Forest Whitaker, Idris Elba, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, etc. Denzel has been placed in a box and not let out. This may not be by Choice (I’m sure it’s not his choice). But he has to take what he’s offered. Hollywood has put him in a box. Just like they do most child actors and actors associated with comedy. That’s all Malik is saying. He doesn’t want to be like that. He never said he was better than Denzel. He admits the man is a great actor. He’s just stuck in a box.

  • Corey

    Denzel just know how to stay in his lane and ride..

  • WOW!!


  • Ok, Denzel won an Oscar for being himself & Malik hasn’t won a sucker for his “skills”…..ashy lip mutha lover….

  • After reading the entire interview I don’t think he was trying to throw shade. I think he used him as an example to prove his point which was a horrible mistake bc as true as it may be public figures should always be aware of what they say on record. He should def definitely hire a pr team. But what he said was true. DW does play it safe with his roles and it works for him. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I don’t think malik yoba meant any malice. People love to read too deep into celebrity comments.

    • WOW!!

      That is a deep comment that’s equal to a singer saying another singer can’t hit the high notes anymore, when that was said about Whitney people started to notice andtalk more which can hinder getting jobs for some. Why criticize someone’s craft, Denzel play serious roles because he has great range every actor can’t go that deep, and Denzel can do as he pleases he has paid his dues, so if he didn’t have malice in his heart he really should be careful what he says and about whom, let your body of work speak for itself, an entertainer should never want to be known as a hater especially if that’s not what he meant that makes it worse.

  • Just saying!!

    I hate to say it but he’s right. I’ve been saying this for the longest. People stay saying Denzel is their fav actor I think because he is the only young black man with an Oscar, but he pretty much acts the same in every movie. That’s why I personally prefer Will Smith who can make you laugh, cry, or scream. I’ve even met Denzel in person and he was just as serious in person. I’m sorry but it’s true…don’t think Malik is trying to be a hater at all. Just because someone has a name and recognition doesn’t necessarily mean they are better anyway, so someone trying to undermine Malik’s opinion because he doesn’t have Denzel’s level of recognition or awards is foolish.

    • Jamie Fox won an Oscar for Ray and Cuba Gooding Jr. won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor so their are other Black men who have won awards.

      • Fench

        Now Jamie is a great actor hands down. He and Idris are going to take over for the black guys! Denzel is good. But we don’t know how great he is cause he’s always the same.

    • WOW!!

      And if he acts the same in all his movies I don’t care if it’s good and entertain me I say Thanks. I believe Denzel is great that’s my opinion and my preference I am a little older like Denzel, so Malik should respect his elders, but that doesn’t mean I think Malik is not great as well. I believe he’s having trouble being likeable especially now, if he has a negative opinion about Denzel keep it to himself, why draw negative attention when you are a public entertainer, do your job entertainer and not gossip. I applaud serious in a world like this one and I believe in Hollywood and being in the public eye with a wife and children one should hold themselves in high standing, especially people of color as the public loves to try to rake us over the coals, so we really shouldn’t do it to each other whether we meant something bad or not. An actor of color should hope to possess his level of likeability, people of color don’t have many at that level and this why, we as a race will pull our brother down to further one’s personal agenda, let your work speak for itself.

  • Guest360

    Ok….major rant time. What is it with black folks and demeaning the work of other black folks? All it does is just make you sound bitter and jealous that someone is doing bigger things than you are. Get over yourself!! As the saying goes, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Getting back to this article, Malik Yoba….criticize Denzel all you want but at the end of the day, he still commands a fat paycheck and is headlining blockbuster movies on the regular. What are you doing? Exactly. Have several seats….

    • Just saying!!

      Ughhh this comment is incredibly annoying. Why gives you the impression he is trying to put Denzel down? ..and how do you criticize him for putting another black man down and then you do it yourself within the same sentence!! Give me a break and you have several seats. Maybe that wasn’t the time and place to say those things, but he wasn’t lying.

      • Just saying!!


      • Guest360

        “He lacks range” is a put down. Don’t know how you got anything else out of what was said because it sure as hell wasn’t constructive criticism lol. And how did I put him down? If you have the gall to come out of pocket and talk about another actor’s skill, you better be doing big things as well, which he isn’t. He sounds bitter and jealous. Disagree if you want. It’s my opinion and I don’t plan on changing it *Kanyeshrug*

        • Lucy

          He didn’t say he lacks range. this article said he lacks range. Read the original interview on BET. Denzel agrees that he’s been typcast. He also says those are the only roles he’s ever offered. Also, check your facts cause His commanding fee has fell waay below what it use to be and his movies aren’t blockbusters anymore. They do good but not as good anymore…because denzel movies are boring and predictable nowadays. . I love him to pieces and if given the opportunity I know he would kill any role he played be it comedy, drama, action, love, etc. But Malik is right.

  • He need to go back to shaving his head, because that hairline aint workin out for him…

  • He’s actually right. But he should have kept that to himself, black women love them sone denzel. Beware of the death threats lol

  • WOW!!

    I think it’s in poor taste and character to talk negatively regarding someone else’s work, good is good period, if I made a fortune singing ballads why would I rap, I mean seriously!

    • just saying!!

      You missed the point…

      • WOW!!

        That was the point in my opinion, everyone has a right to do what they choose to do if it works for them, what gives me the right to speak negatively regarding someone’s work and choices, publicly especially. Denzel is one of the greats period, and he carries his legacy of an entertainer with style and eloquence, Yoba can learn a thing or two from Denzel he has been around for a long time when man great entertainers of color has fizzled out……so I celebrate a entertainer of color that can command his craft and chose as he pleases, people of color couldn’t always do that, so before he attempts to throw a little shade he should ponder one fact……does he have staying power and likability like Denzel and has he paid his dues, Denzel started when things were very limited for actors of color and he’s still working, so Bavo Mr. Washington!! I appreciate what you do as an actor and what you have continuously portrayed as a man of color….Thank you!

  • bluekissess

    I can’t get past his ashy lips. Sit down Malik Chapstick

    • Tamz

      Please exit my head now. Lmao!!!

      • bluekissess

        He enjoys eating powdered donuts for breakfast, lunch and dinner

  • Ms_Mara

    Malik Yoba must have something new getting ready to come out and he’s trying to scrape up some attention. If I were him, I’d be really quiet about anyone else’s lack of range (which is essentially a dig at his skill). He wasn’t even believable in his supporting role as Janet’s husband in WDIGM. Denzel is accomplished in theater AND film. From the Bone Collector to The Preacher’s Wife, to Training Day to Glory, to Philadelphia to The Book of Eli, and I could go on and on. He most certainly does NOT play himself in every movie.

  • Bobby

    Range means play any role and IMO Denzel plays the same character in every movie. And has yet to play a role as deep as he did in “Glory”!! When is he doing to do comedy or transform to a character via make up, accent, where we dont recognize him ie like Johnny Depp or Morgan Freeman has.

    • Denzel actually did comedy in “The Preacher’s Wife”.

    • Kaori

      Maybe he doesn’t want to do comedy movies.

    • PA-TX

      He had some comedic roles in his early days… Playing a rich white guy’s long lost son in Carbon Copy. And he had a horrible Jamaican accent in The Mighty Quinn back in the day. He just found his (serious/action role) niche after a while and did VERY well.

    • ariesdollface

      What about his role as Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing…a period piece in which he most definitely worked an accent

      • ashley79

        Cry Freedom and The Mighty Quinn, there isn’t that much of a demand for Black actors to perform with an accent. How many request is there for us to do a Chinese, Irish, or Bostonian accent?

        • Just saying!!

          I think you are missing his point. He was using access as an example of versatility but that’s not it. Think of Forest Whitaker, Lawrence Fishbourne, Will Smith, etc….they may not do different accents all the time but they play very diverse roles. I’m sorry but Denzel is always the same. Nothing wrong with that, I mean it is his signature lol it just gets tiring after a while that’s all. Sometimes you have to switch it up!!

          • ashley79

            When your getting started you take just about anything. Will Smith doesn’t have the range if its not a comedy or an action, most of his films fit one of those categories. You don’t see Will trying to act with an accent or doing any period pieces. Once you find what you do the best in, thats what you do. Denzel likes doing drama/suspense because that’s what he is good at, he’s at a point that he can choose what he wants. Maybe he only wants to do films that his family can be proud about.

            My point is that they don’t offer many ranges that they offer white actors to minorities.


    What?!? Denzel is a talented dude. Respect due. I like Malik but he will never be on Denzel’s level. Dude takes his roles serious. I enjoy Denzel!!

    • Just saying!!

      Malik did NOT say he wasn’t talented!! Why do you all get so offended when someone gives just a little criticism to your gods!? Denzel is super talented but the dude is right!! Sheesh

      • Nobody is offended, but consider the source. He should definitely worry more about his acting career. Because whatever he thinks of Denzel on his best day he couldn’t lace up his shoes. He is not even getting roles Denzel pasted up. He is on a series on Sci-Fi and worried about Denzel being type casted. He is on his way to being a has been or never was.

  • Malik Yoba criticizing Denzel Washington’s work is like Omarion
    criticizing Michael Jackson’s work. What has Malik Yoba done besides be
    on New York Undercover and play Janet Jackson’s boyfriend? You got some
    balls to come after arguably the most famous black actor in history. Wow.
    You don’t see any white actors criticizing George Clooney. Why do black folks keep doing this to each other?

    • Omarion criticizing Michael Jackson….OMG im dead!!!! Buhhahahahaha!!!!!!!!

    • shame on you

      ”ENVY” why not put him down…to make me feel better about my short coming and not working my azz off like Denzel…..

    • Africanpride

      lol…Omarion criticizing MJ’s work.The less talented ones are always the ones running their mouths too. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but it’s just interesting when some black actors come after one of the most talented actor in Hollywood. Yes, Denzel plays almost the same roles but that’s what makes him a brilliant actor. He found his niche, and maxmized it. Nothing wrong with that. And, George Clooney and Julia Roberts play the same roles too. But, whites don’t complain bcos they like them in those roles.,

  • JaneDoe

    Denzel has been in the game for quiet a while now.. At this point I think he can pick and choose which role he plays. IMO he has a bit of a range to be around as long as he has and has 2 or more movies out each yr. As far as Will Smith his roles aren’t far out of the box either. Not saying Malika Yoba is wrong but given the role I think Denzel can nail whatever he is dished out. He is that good in my opinion

    • French

      Nope he still doesn’t get to pick and choose. If he did he definitely wouldn’t want to keep playing the same roles. Especially, when his last few movies just haven’t done that well (because he’s boring us). He’s been typecast and action movies are all people are willing to pay him for. It’s not his fault. But once Hollywood sees what they think works for you thats what they label you as. No actor wants that. Malik said Denzel is a great actor. Now Will Smith is not so great but he has more power to pick and choose than Denzel.

      • Denzel not only is picking his roles, but he is also directing some of the movies he is starring in.

  • Say What?

    I concur. He’s terrific at what he does, but don’t kid yourself he isn’t as versatile as a lot of other actors. Will Smith has a better range and that’s not throwing shade at Will because he’s a fine actor.

  • IllyPhilly

    I just had this argument with a friend and I’m not sorry to say that I agree with Malik Yoba.

    • Bobby

      Me too, Denzel hasnt done a comedy he always play the same roles!! When is he going to do a romantic comedy or any love scenes!?!?!

      • Kaori

        Maybe he isn’t interested in those kinds of roles.

        • Bobby

          Maybe not but he does show an actors range, to play a variety of roles, ie Laurence Fishbourne

        • IllyPhilly

          He said he’s never been offered a comedic role. He agrees that he is a typecast actor.

      • ashley79

        What about Carbon Copy or Ricochet; comedy and a love scene. He’s getting old, he doesn’t need to do those love scenes like some actors.

      • Lucy

        Yea I don’t think comedy is his thing. Most of the actors that do comedy will jump at the chance to do something different. But I do agree with Malik. I don’t think Denzel should do comedy but he definitely has a style that he’s been stuck on for a very long time and it’s getting old and boring. It shows in the box office as well. I love Denzel and he’s a good actor though.

    • LC

      I agree….the way he delivers his lines in each movie is the same. Think about it….Remember the Titans…Flight….American Gangster….even a Soldier’s Story. Same delivery!