Esteemed journalist Katie Couric’s uncomfortable 2004 interview with actor Denzel Washington went down in infamy, and Couric even said she felt “shaken” afterward. The interview went awry with Washington snapped at a certain question.
Washington was promoting the political thriller “The Manchurian Candidate,” so Couric asked him if he thinks celebrities should weigh in on politics, or if "Hollywood folks should stick to acting." Washington said "I don't know what Hollywood folks are, first of all[…] I don't know anybody from there."
Couric rephrased her question, starting with “Are you one of those people that…”, but Washington cut her off: “Ah, there you go. Am I one of those people? Hmmm, isn't that interesting?” Couric tried to redirect and called Washington an actor, and he fired back with “I'm a human being. My job is acting.”
Katie Couric called Washington’s behavior “uncalled for,” and it's likely her questions awoken his dislike for the phoniness of the entertainment scene and its denizens. He's said in prior interviews that none of his friends are actors, so he probably doesn’t want to be lumped in with “Hollywood folks.”
However, Washington made it up to Couric by making a big donation to her colon cancer organization, which she said was “super sweet.” Today, she still admires Washington and considers him to be one of her favorite actors (or human beings whose job is acting).