Why did Denzel Washington refuse to kiss Julia Roberts in a movie?

They acted together in the 1993 film ‘The Pelican Report’.

Denzel Washington at the premiere of the movie ‘The Tragedy Of Macbeth’ and Julia Roberts arriving at the annual gala of the Critics Choice Awards 2019


n the year 1993, two of the most established Hollywood stars in the industry, Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts, starred in ‘The Pelican Brief’, a suspense film directed by Alan J. Pakula and based on the novel John Grisham.

The plot focuses on a law student who decides on her own to make a report on the double homicide of some members of the Supreme Court, becoming the target of the murderers. Due to the persecution of her, she asks a journalist for help, who soon becomes involved in the investigation.

In the original story, the two protagonists, who were played by Washington and Roberts, have a love relationship, however, in the film this theme was omitted, which caused controversy due to the great change within the narrative.

When the film was released, it was rumored that the famous actress had refused to film romantic scenes with Denzel due to racism. But it was she herself who would clarify the reason why they did not kiss, “Of course she wanted to kiss Denzel, it was her idea to remove those damn scenes,” said the star of ‘Pretty Woman’ at the time.

Once it was clarified that the decisions to eliminate the romantic scenes had been at the request of the actor to honor the black community, he explained that he did not want to repeat the controversy of kissing a white woman, as happened in 1989 when he filmed ‘ The Mighty Quinn’, where he kissed actress Mimi Rogers.

“Black women are not usually seen as objects of desire in movies. And they were always my main audience”, said the Oscar-winning actor.

Despite everything, 12 years later, in 2002, Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts met again at the Oscar Awards ceremony and finally kissed in front of the entire audience when the actress presented him with the award for Best Actor for the film ‘ Man on Fire’.

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