Fans of actor John David Washington came to his defense after a freelance writer negatively critiqued his acting skills.
Washington is currently starring in the blockbuster movie Tenet, which made headlines for its mind-bending plot and lackluster box office numbers.
The movie has so far has grossed $350 million worldwide, but with a budget exceeding $200 million director Chrstopher Nolan and Warner Bros. were anticipating much bigger numbers. COVID-19 and theater closures made the dwindling box office numbers even worse.
While critics mostly liked it (the movie has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 71) some have called the film “a fully joyless affair”, “bare of feeling” and “undeniably baffling,” but writer and podcaster Sam Adler Bell took to Twitter to unload about another issue he had with the movie.
“Underrated problem with TENET: John David Washington is a very bad actor,” he wrote. Later on, he added, “I gather we’ve decided he’s a movie star but it’s not clear why.”
He clarified that it was an “underrated” problem “because we can all agree the script was bewildering and the direction was haphazard. But even for a Nolan lead, I thought JDW was dull.”
Bell also opined that Washington was also very bad in the movie “Blackkklansman,” which did nothing to sway dissenting commenters on Twitter.
Once such user was Matthew A. Cherry, director of “Hair Love.” He simple wrote in response, “Counterpoint. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Other Twitter users praised Washington’s performance in previous roles, with one writing, “He’s very good in BlacKKKlansman and excellent in Ballers
Another said, “This movie was entertaining but blaming JDW for its failures is a joke.”
Online forum Lipstick Alley had a thread about the incident, in which members discussed the fact that Washington was also getting hate for being the son of Denzel Washington. The discussion landed on the fairness of that criticism when there are plenty of white actors getting by on nepotism to obtain their roles.
One user wrote, “White mediocre actors use nepotism to have a career all the time. Let JDW work his connections and live his best life, stop hating.”
“All of this!” one user said. “All of these white actors and actresses that have gotten by on nepotism for decades and yet they want to single out John David Washington who doesn’t even let casting directors know who his family is at auditions. You will never hear them say this about Drew Barrymore, Angelina Jolie, or Gwyneth Paltrow.”
One more user expressed that “Tenet’s writing and directing was horrible and all over the place. The movie’s flop is not on JDW at all. I agree with everyone here, JDW is able to do something he enjoys because of his family connections. This is only looked down upon with black people. We need more and more of this in our communities. Not less!”
In an interview earlier this year with The Journal, Washington shared that he used to hide his famous father’s identity by claiming he was in jail or was a construction worker. “I felt like there was no way people would take me seriously, even if I was good,” the actor expressed. He added, “They would always judge me. So I hid who my father was. I guess I was protecting myself.”