Denzel Washington is finally addressing the conversation he had with Will Smith almost immediately after he slapped Chris Rock onstage at the 2022 Oscars.
Washington quickly pulled Smith aside and comforted him during a commercial break just after Smith went up to the stage and smacked Rock for making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head during Sunday’s awards ceremony.
“Fortunately there were people there. Tyler Perry came immediately right over there with me. [Said] some prayers. I don’t know all the ins and outs, but I know the only solution was prayer”- Denzel Washington on this moment with Will Smith at the #Oscars https://t.co/hJD45sR06R pic.twitter.com/B4pOjFvdDp— Dionne Grant (@DionneGrant) April 2, 2022
Pinkett Smith has been very vocal about her alopecia, a hair loss condition, in the past.
Smith, who won Best Actor for King Richard later that night, thanked Washington in a highly-charged speech, saying, “Thank you, D. Denzel said to me a few minutes ago, he said, ‘At your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you.'”
This past Saturday, Washington addressed the incident at pastor and author T.D. Jakes‘s leadership summit, saying that “for whatever reason, the devil got ahold of [Will Smith] that night,” according to his comments reported by Variety and the Wrap.
“You stepped in the middle of World War III,” Jakes said, asking Smith about the incident.
“There’s a saying when the devil ignores you, then you know you’re doing something wrong,” Washington said.
“The devil goes, ‘Oh no, leave him alone, he’s my favorite.’ Conversely, when the devil comes at you, maybe it’s because he’s trying to do something right. And for whatever reason, the devil got ahold of him that night.”
And while Washington did not go into detail about the conversation he and Smith had following the slap, he revealed how he and others prayed with Smith.
Denzel Washington says he and Tyler Perry said “some prayers” with Will Smith after the #Oscars incident: “Who are we to condemn? I don’t know all the ins and outs of the situation, but I know the only solution was prayer, the way I see it.”— Film Updates (@FilmUpdates) April 2, 2022
“Fortunately, there were people there. Not just me, but others — Tyler Perry came immediately right over there with me. [Said] some prayers. I don’t wanna say what we talked about, but there but for the grace of God go any of us. Who are we to condemn? I don’t know all the ins and outs of the situation, but I know the only solution was prayer, the way I see it,” Washington said.
Bradley Cooper was also seen talking to Smith as well as hugging him after Smith’s onstage assault.
Smith went on to apologize to Rock the day after the Oscars, and this past Friday, he resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which has begun a disciplinary inquiry into his actions.
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