When Tom Hank's character asks Washington to represent him in court, he becomes very uncomfortable around Hanks. After Hanks reveals he has AIDS, Washington becomes very distant, and fearful that he could contract the disease from being around him. Washington even visits the doctor to make sure he wouldn't contract AIDS. Washington speaks negatively about homosexuals to his wife and others.
Washington runs into Hanks at the library where Hanks is researching for his court case. He was blackmailed by the company he worked for because they were also, like Washington, afraid of the deadly disease and his homosexuality. Hanks tell Washington that he hasn't found anyone to represent him in court, and Washington agrees to represent him.
As Washington begins to work with Hanks on his case, Washington becomes more tolerant for people affect by AIDS and homosexuals. Washington begins to view Hanks as a friend, which would have never happened with his feeling towards homosexuals before. When Washington was asked out by a homosexual in the drug store, he got really upset, but his views towards homosexuals in general weren't nearly as negative as the beginning of the movie. By the end of the movie, Washington begins to view people with AIDS as humans and he doesn't just look at the disease they have, worrying that he might get it. Throughout the movie, Washington's character evolves into a more open minded and tolerant