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Denzel Washington talks #OscarsSoWhite

Lisa Respers France, CNN | 12/20/2016, 10:58 a.m.
Denzel Washington knows firsthand the struggle for actors of color in Hollywood.
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in "Fences" Contributed

(CNN) -- Denzel Washington knows firsthand the struggle for actors of color in Hollywood.

The star sat down recently with "60 Minutes" correspondent Bill Whitaker and discussed diversity in the industry.

The six-time Academy Award nominee is highly favored to nab a seventh nomination for his new film "Fences," which he also directed.

Washington said he doesn't have to think about #OscarsSoWhite as he has lived it.

"I've been the guy at the Oscars without my name being called," he said. "I've been the guy at the Oscars when my name is called. I've been the guy at the Oscars when everybody thought they was going to call my name and they didn't."

Washington did win twice: he took home the award for best actor in "Training Day" in 2001 and best supporting actor for the civil war drama "Glory" in 1989.

OscarsSoWhite refers to the lack of opportunities and recognition for people of color in the movie industry.

When asked what he would say to those who would call it unfair Washington said, "Yeah, and so what?"

"You going to give up?" he asked. "If you're looking for an excuse, you'll find one."

And Washington's parting words of wisdom?

"Can't live like that," he said. "Just do the best you can do."

The "60 Minutes" episode featuring Washington aired on Sunday, Dec. 18 on CBS.