Hollywood actress Kerry Washington has addressed ongoing rumours about her sexuality to say that she has “never been bothered” by rumours as “there’s nothing offensive about it”.

The Django Unchained star spoke in an interview with The Advocate to say: “…I’ve never been bothered by the lesbian rumour. There’s nothing offensive about it, so there’s no reason to be offended.”

She went on to discuss being closeted, and passing in the black community.

“Sure. I’ve actually talked with friends about the similarities between being closeted and the idea of passing in the black community. Those in the black community who could pass for white often did so to get more opportunities in life, but it came at such a great cost. When you buy into the cultural idea of what’s acceptable and unacceptable, you reinforce negative stereotypes and prejudices. That wouldn’t work for me. I don’t love to give advice to anyone because we all have to make our own choices, but I’d want to live my life in truth. But there also have to be changes within the Hollywood community. Casting directors and producers have to look beyond sexual orientation in the way that they’re just barely, barely beginning to look beyond race. Until Hollywood learns that actors are artists of transformation, it will continue to be limiting for minorities,” she continued.

Speaking of online abuse, she said: “I like when people express a difference of opinion on Twitter, because that’s so wonderful about the country we live in. You don’t have to agree with me, but if you come at me with hatred and slurs, I will block you.”