Denzel Washington: I've lived the Oscars' lack of recognition for black actors

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Denzel Washington has spoken of his first-hand experience of how the Oscars can fail to recognise actors of diversity.

The Hollywood star, who has won two Academy Awards during his career from six nominations, said he has "lived" the lack of recognition for non-white actors.

In an interview with CBS due to air on Sunday in the US, Denzel said: "I've lived it. I've been the guy at the Oscars without my name being called.

Denzel Washington
(Danny Moloshok/AP)

"When my name is called... when everybody thought they was going to call my name and they didn't."

He told actors complaining about the Academy process: "Yeah, and so what? You going to give up? If you're looking for an excuse, you'll find one."

Asked if race was an excuse, Denzel replied: "You can find it wherever you like.

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

Denzel Washington
(DyD Fotografos/Geisler-Fotopress/DPA)

His comments come after a lack of diversity among the nominees at this year's Oscars sparked a debate about race in the film industry.

None of the nominees for the best actor and actress and best supporting actor and actress categories were from an ethnic minority, prompting film star Will Smith and director Spike Lee to boycott the ceremony in February.

Denzel Washington
(Thibault Camus/AP)

The hashtag OscarSoWhite also became a rallying cry on social media for dissatisfied film stars and fans.

Denzel's latest film, Fences, which he directs and stars in, has been tipped to earn him a nomination for next year's Oscars.