Denzel Washington at "The Tragedy of Macbeth" Premiere in LA

Why Wasn't Denzel Washington At His Presidential Medal Of Freedom Ceremony?

Home / News / Why Wasn't Denzel Washington At His Presidential Medal Of Freedom Ceremony?

By Afouda Bamidele on July 10, 2022 at 12:00 PM EDT

Coronavirus is far from over!

The pandemic has Denzel Washington in its clutches as the Hollywood veteran recently joined the long list of celebrities that have tested positive for Covid-19.

As reported by Belfast Telegraph, the two-time Academy Award winner was forced to skip the Presidential Medal of Freedom Ceremony that took place at the White House on Thursday, July 7.

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Denzel Washington's Representative Says The Actor 'Feels Fine' After Contracting Covid

Denzel Washington at "The Tragedy of Macbeth" Premiere in LA

For decades, Washington has established himself as one of the world's greatest entertainers with numerous accolades for his exceptional performances in theater and movies.

For his achievements, the renowned actor was invited to the White House, where he and 16 other candidates were to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom Ceremony.

This accolade marked the highest honor that could be bestowed on a civilian in the United States, however, the "Flight" star bowed out of the event because of the pandemic.

The shocking news was shared by Washington's spokesperson, who assured fans that the Tony Award winner "feels fine" despite testing positive for Covid-19. 

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"Denzel tested positive for Covid," the representative revealed, "and so he was unfortunately unable to attend the Medal of Freedom award ceremony."

President Joe Biden, who handed out the medals during the ceremony, addressed the two-time Golden Globe Award winner's absence in a touching speech.

"There's a man who couldn't be here today but wanted to be: Denzel Washington, one of our greatest actors in American history," the 79-year-old Pennsylvania native said before listing some of the Hollywood veteran's accomplishments.

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President Biden Presents the Medal of Freedom to Seventeen Recipients
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The 46th U.S. President acknowledged that the "Fences" star has received worldwide recognition for his skills, noting that he would honor the entertainer with the award at a later date.

The New York native must be bummed out about missing the ceremony as the Presidential Medal of Freedom was only given to individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to the U.S, world peace, and other significant sectors.

Simone Biles, a highly-decorated artistic gymnast, also received high praise from the POTUS for being the youngest person to ever receive the award.

In the politician's speech, Biden joked that he did not know how the 25-year-old Olympic gold medalist would find space to add the medal to her ever-growing pile of accolades. 

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Excluding the athlete and "The Tragedy of Macbeth" actor, The Blast shared that the Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient list included famous figures who have positively impacted the world in some way.

The late Steve Jobs, who served as the co-founder and CEO of Apple until his death in 2011, was honored posthumously for his immense contributions to technology and entertainment.

Senator John McCain, who passed away in 2018, was also included on the list for his services to the United States Navy during the Vietnam War and political achievements.

Another political figure on the list was Gabby Giffords, a former Congresswoman, who became the youngest woman to be elected to the Arizona State Senate.

Denzel Washington at Salute to Freedom Gala
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As a survivor of gun violence, the retired politician became an advocate for weapons control and co-founded a non-profit organization named Giffords to prevent gun violence.

Other recipients of the medal were Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe, former Senator Alan Simpson, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee founding member Diane Nash, civil rights advocate Raúl Yzaguirre, Brigadier General Wilma Vaught, and more.

The NAACP Image Award Winner May Make A Cameo In Queen Latifah's 'The Equalizer' Series

As previously revealed by The Blast, CBS renewed "The Equalizer" series for a third and fourth season, giving Queen Latifah more chances to flaunt her acting skills.

The renowned entertainer, who has gained worldwide recognition for her achievements as a musician and actress, served as the lead star and executive producer of the franchise.

On the show, the 52-year-old New Jersey native played Robyn McCall, a former CIA officer who became a vigilante to punish criminals in New York with her version of justice.

The "Hairspray" actress told sources that she would love Washington to make a cameo in "The Equalizer" series as the actor portrayed the male version of her character in the film adaptation of the CBS show.

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However, the Grammy winner explained that the crossover could only happen if the Hollywood veteran and the director of "The Equalizer" movies were interested.

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