Denzel Washington's new movie The Great Debaters has been slammed for its historical inaccuracies - by the college students the film is based on.

In the film, which Washington also directed, the Oscar winner plays a Texas professor who takes his African-American students to debate the great minds at Harvard in the 1930s.

But although the film is based on the true story of the debating team at Texas' Wiley College, Harvard's participation is fictional.

Wiley beat the reigning champs, but they were actually student debaters from the University of Southern California.

A source tells New York gossip column PageSix, "The Wiley team never wrote to Harvard, never debated Harvard, never beat Harvard

"And no Harvard administrator would have ever referred to the university as an all-white college since it had long been integrated."

But Washington defends the inaccuracies, telling the Harvard Crimson student newspaper: "We set the debate here because Harvard is the gold standard.

"Harvard just sounded better, to be quite honest." (LJ/WNWCPS/MT)

Copyright 2008 WENN

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