No evidence Denzel Washington quote about being criticised is real

27 May 2022
What was claimed

Actor Denzel Washington said: “You’ll never be criticized by someone who is doing more than you. You’ll always be criticized by someone doing less. Remember that.”

Our verdict

There is no evidence of him ever saying this.

A quote attributed to actor Denzel Washington, about being criticised by others, has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook. 

The quote says: “You’ll never be criticized by someone who is doing more than you. You’ll always be criticized by someone doing less. Remember that.”

Full Fact could find no evidence online of the actor having ever said these words, despite many other similar posts attributing the quote to him appearing online

None of the posts include any other details, such as when Mr Washington said these words or if his comment was made in an interview with a specific news outlet, for example. 

There are examples of the quote being attributed to other people, such as fellow actor Christian Bale, as well as unattributed online. 

According to fact-checking site Snopes, the earliest example of this quote appearing online without being attributed to Mr Washington was on Twitter in February 2017

We regularly see quotes wrongly attributed to actors, politicians and other public figures, such as Sir Anthony Hopkins, John Lennon and Nadine Dorries, as part of our work fact-checking online misinformation, and such posts often rack up hundreds or thousands of shares. 

Image courtesy of GabboT

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because there is no evidence Denzel Washington ever said this.

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