The title of this doesn’t even sound right or real, and for my favorite actor I am more than happy it isn’t. In an older video that has recently created a bit of a viral buzz, Denzel Washington talks about a role that he turned down that had too much of a racial connotation for his liking. He self titled the movie “The N*gga They Couldn’t Kill.” Here is what Denzel had to say:
I got a part in a movie in 1986; I called it The Nigga They Couldn’t Kill……….He raped a white woman and they tried to electrocute him but it didn’t work. And they tried to hang him and do all this stuff………I had a lot of Training Day in me….There were some Jewish people in the audition and they said “No it’s funny, they hang him….” and I said “Yeah like, you bring some Jewish people into a room and they think it’s a shower but it’s gas………that ain’t funny.” To me it wasn’t funny putting a rope around my neck. I called Sydney (Poitier) and said “they offered me $600,000 dollars to play The Nigga They Couldn’t Kill.” He said “I’m not going to tell you what to do, but I can tell you this; the first two to three or four films you do in this business will dictate how you are perceived in this business. So you make a decision…..” I turned it down, and six months later I got “Cry Freedom” and got an Oscar nomination…….You never know, my whole career could’ve gone an entirely different way.
I absolutely admire the integrity Denzel displayed through his decision not to take the role. I can only imagine what may have happened if he decided to take the role, and wonder if we would even know Denzel on the level we do today. This is an important reminder that we must stand for something or we will fall for anything. Him turning down this role placed him in the position to do something much greater and he was rewarded for it.
It also provides encouragement to me as I continue through my own career. I recently turned down an opportunity to make significantly more than I do now, because I felt I’d be losing a part of myself in the meantime. I can only hope that through doing this, God has positioned me to do something more than I am able to imagine. In closing I will say this; we don’t know the plans God has for us. Opportunities will come and go, however the decision to choose the one that is true to us may only come once in a lifetime. If you are faced with any tough decision, keep your integrity and stay true to who God made you to be. Only blessings can come from doing so.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“Unto Him that is able He is to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20
Have you ever been given an opportunity that didn’t sit well with you? What did you do, and how did it affect your life today? Talk to us!