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‘For Being a Horrible Cop’: Samuel L. Jackson Expresses That Black Stars Only Win Oscars for ‘Doing Despicable Sh-t on Screen,’ Cites Denzel Washington

Veteran Hollywood actor Samuel L. Jackson’s career spans over five decades and includes several films and iconic characters–ranging from a local Brooklyn DJ in Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing” or a high school basketball coach determined to show his players a brighter future in “Coach Carter.” While it may be no surprise why he’s one of the highest-grossing stars of all time, his going without an Oscar Award to this point has proved a bit of a shocker to some. 

Speaking candidly to Britain’s The Times, ahead of receiving an Honorary Oscar at the 2022 Governors Awards later this month, the actor reflected on his career and some of those award losses — more specifically as it relates to his role in the film “Pulp Fiction.” The actor jokingly told the publication that he “should have won” 1994’s Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in Quentin Tarantino’s crime film. Instead, Martin Landau won for his role as Bela Lugosi in “Ed Wood.”

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JANUARY 20: Actor Samuel L. Jackson attends “The Last Full Measure” Atlanta screening at SCADshow on January 20, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images)

However, that wasn’t the actor’s only grievance. Jackson also cited his performance in the 1992 film “Jungle Fever,” another creation from Lee that could have garnered the D.C. native an Oscar nomination but did not. Jackson shared that he and his wife supported “Bugsy,” the movie that ended up winning. 

“Damn! They got nominated, and I didn’t? I guess Black folk usually win for doing despicable sh-t on screen,” the star said.  “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 motherf-cker. So maybe I should have won one. But Oscars don’t move the comma on your cheque – it’s about getting asses in seats, and I’ve done a good job of doing that.”

Jackson also chimed in on the discussion surrounding the widely popular and lucrative “Spider-Man: No Way Home” starring Tom Holland and Zendaya, a film that failed to earn a Best Picture nomination. 

The “A Time to Kill” actor, who’s also made a total of 10 appearances across the Marvel Cinematic Universe, said, “All movies are valid. Some go to the cinema to be moved dearly. Some like superheroes. If somebody has more butts on seats, it just means your audience is not as broad.”

However, Jackson did suggest a “Most Popular Movie” category, citing the nature of the movie business before adding that the film “did what movies did forever – it got people to a big dark room.”


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