Samuel L. Jackson Blasts the Oscars: Black Actors Usually 'Win for Doing Despicable S**t on Screen'

Samuel L. Jackson Blasts the Oscars: Black Actors Usually 'Win for Doing Despicable S**t on Screen'

Samuel L. Jackson is still sore that his performance in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever (1991) didn’t earn him an Oscar nomination. So he is lashing out at the Academy, accusing it of denigrating black actors by giving them Oscars for “doing despicable shit on screen.”

In an interview with Britains’ Sunday Times, the actor cited Denzel Washington’s Oscar-winning performance in Training Day as evidence, saying the Academy preferred Washington playing a psychopathic bad guy over more uplifting roles, like Malcolm X.

Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke in Training Day. Warner Bros.

Jackson still harbors a grudge that Harvey Keitel and Ben Kingsley received supporting actor nominations for Bugsy while the Academy ignored his performance in Jungle Fever in the same year.

***Language Warning*** 

“My wife and I went to see Bugsy,” he told the Times. “Damn! They got nominated and I didn’t? I guess black folk usually win for doing despicable shit on screen. Like Denzel [Washington] for being a horrible cop in Training Day. All the great stuff he did in uplifting roles like Malcolm X? No — we’ll give it to this motherfucker. So maybe I should have won one.”

“But Oscars don’t move the comma on your check — it’s about getting asses in seats and I’ve done a good job of doing that,” he added.

In Jungle Fever, Samuel L. Jackson played a vicious crack addict named Gator who terrorizes his own family members in a bid to feed his addiction. His performance won an acting award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1991.

The actor’s harsh words for the Academy come as he is about to receive an honorary Oscar for his entire career. His only Oscar nomination to date was for Pulp Fiction (1994), which he lost to Martin Landau in Ed Wood.

In the same Times interview, Jackson slammed podcaster Joe Rogan for his past use of of the n-word. But the actor defended his frequent collaborator Quentin Tarantino for his abundant use of the word in movies including Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained.

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David Ng