Thanks To Viral Tweet, Fans Are Just Learning We’ve All Been Pronouncing Denzel Washington’s Name Wrong

There aren’t too many people out there who haven’t seen a movie starring Denzel Washington, or witnessed his funny personality in various television interviews. In the last four decades, he’s established himself as a force in Hollywood – both as an actor and a director. While viewers have come to know the name of the 21st century’s greatest living actor, we as a collective might’ve been wrong when it comes to saying his birth name. The faux pas became known as a tweet of an old clip that went viral.

Fans were in shock when YouTuber and comedian KevOnStage took to Twitter and posted an old clip of the two-time Oscar winner on The Graham Norton Show revealing the decades-long error. The short clip sees Washington correcting a flabbergasted Norton in the nicest way possible. To see the comedian’s spot-on reaction and commentary on the funny exchange, check out the TikTok version of his hilarious video below...


So Denzel Washington’s name is actually pronounced Denzil. 😳

♬ original sound - kevonstage

The comedian’s reaction was just as hilarious as the actual moment. He was all of us watching this respected actor make this correction so far into his illustrious career. His video was the equivalent of a shoulder shrug. At the end of the day, we will continue to pronounce his name Denzel because that’s all we’ve known. Washington seemed to take the faux pas in stride as he’s been addressed by the wrong name for decades.

Like many on the internet, I could relate to realizing the entire world had been mispronouncing The Tragedy of Macbeth star’s name. The viral tweet came from a 2013 interview between Washington and the British chat show host. Having already known about the error for some time, the short clip served as a reminder of it for me. But that short clip was just a snippet of the funny moment. You can watch the full clip below to get all the hilarity of Graham Norton’s shock over Denzel Washington’s revelation.

After decades of Hollywood supremacy, it was "Denzul" all along. Having multiple groups of people – fans, co-stars, producers, etc. -  mispronouncing your name without correcting them for so long took a lot of strength on his part. But as a nickname given to him by his mother, he probably didn’t think much of it. His nonchalant approach about his name spoke to the relaxed nice guy he is, which is why Ben Affleck admires him as a leading man. It’s still surprising that he allowed everyone to continue mispronouncing his name at this point in his career.

Maybe now we can put some respect on Denzul (not Denzel) Washington’s name. But as a collective, we’ve agreed it’s Denzel, which he is perfectly fine with. Fans could still hear his name pronounced correctly when his name is called on Oscars night. Of course, he’s up against some tough competition, including facing off against Will Smith again, in the Best Actor category. He’s just one of many 2022 Oscar nominees waiting to hear if he will be called to the Oscars stage. If you want to see where Washington will pop up next, you check out our 2022 movie schedule, including an unknown project with one of the best directors working today.  

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).