LATEST: Denzel Washington has slammed reports he advised Oscar-nominee Terrence Howard to avoid performing a controversial song at the Academy Awards earlier this month (05MAR06). The TRAINING DAY star allegedly teamed up with fellow African American actors Sidney Poitier and Will Smith to urge Howard to reconsider his performance of IT'S HARD OUT HERE FOR A PIMP - from his movie HUSTLE AND FLOW - because other black Hollywood stars could be offended by his crude lyrics. However Washington insists he knew nothing about the song. He says, "No, that's nonsense. That was in the press? Really? I didn't even know he was singing that song." Hip-hop group THREE 6 MAFIA went on to perform the track without Howard and won the Oscar for Best Original Song.