Please ... no Oscar for Mr. Washington

Washington as Rubin Carter, nice guy

 

Whenever Denzel Washington sees a newspaper article about the the "Hurricane" controversy, he just closes the paper, he told a Hollywood reporter.*

People risked their lives to tell the truth about Rubin Carter, but Washington won't even read a news article that might lead him to that truth.

If he did, he might know there was significant credible evidence that resulted in Carter's two triple murder convictions. He might know the former boxer got out of prison not because of conspiracies and manufactured evidence, but because an extraordinarily liberal judge saw two procedural errors that weren't to his liking.

The severity of the crime, the intensity of the debate, and Carter's history of violence and anti-social behavior ought to be enough to keep Mr. Washington's intellectual curiosity on alert. Instead he has chosen to take the word of a man who has everything to gain by lying. He multiplies his mistake by calling that man the embodiment of love.

Prosecutors who studied the facts called Rubin Carter the embodiment of evil. They said Carter fired a shotgun into the back of a defenseless man and into the body of a terrified mother of four. Twenty-four jurors, including two blacks, agreed.

Mr. Washington ignores all this and promotes Rubin Carter as a worthy hero. He uses his public voice to effectively disparage the work of police and prosecutors who know they got the right man.

Denzel Washington has every right to share his considerable spotlight with Rubin Carter, but the Academy would do well to turn that spotlight elsewhere.

-- Cal Deal, 2/21/00

 Rubin Carter

 

*According to ABC's Philadephia TV affiliate, 8 a.m., Feb. 13, 2000

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