Actor Denzel Washington has spoken out for the first time since the Oscars concerning Will Smith’s slap of comedian Chris Rock.
At the Oscars on March 27, Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith’s wife, making a sequel of the 1997 film “G.I. Jane.” This joke appeared to come from the fact that Pinkett Smith is now bald, due to having alopecia.
Smith then walked up on stage, slapped Rock and then yelled at Rock to keep his wife’s name out of his mouth.
Following the incident, Washington — along with Tyler Perry and Bradley Cooper — were seen speaking with Smith.
But Washington had remained quiet on the whole issue.
Washington took part in a panel at pastor T.D. Jakes’ annual International Leadership Summit on Saturday, People Magazine reported. He finally commented on what happened.
“No way I could have sat in my seat. That’s just not who I am,” Washington said.
Washington revealed that when he got up and went over to Smith after the incident, he and Perry prayed with Smith.
“Fortunately, there were people there, not just me, but others in the gap,” Washington told Jakes, CNN reported. “Tyler Perry came right immediately, right over there with me.”
“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 you’re trying to do something right. And for whatever reason, the devil got a hold of that circumstance that night.”
After the slap, Smith went on to win an Oscar for best actor for his role in the movie “King Richard.”
In his acceptance speech, he noted what Washington had shared with him.
“At your highest moment be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you,” Smith said, repeating what Washington told him, CNN reported.
Smith apologized the morning after the Oscars, calling his behavior towards Rock “unacceptable and inexcusable,” in an Instagram post.
Smith also resigned from Oscars Academy in light of the event, the BBC reported.
The Academy accepted the resignation and said it would “continue to move forward” with disciplinary proceedings.
In light of all the events, Washington did not offer any further comment or opinion other than to comment on the grace of God.
“I don’t wanna say what we talked about, but there but for the grace of God go any of us,” Washington said, People Magazine reported. “Who are we to condemn? I don’t know all the ins and outs of this situation, but I know the only solution was prayer, the way I saw it, the way I see it.”
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