Actor Will Smith may never be able to live down what happened at the 94th annual Academy Awards last Sunday.
After Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith and her hair loss condition, known as alopecia, the “King Richard” actor stormed the stage to slap Chris Rock before returning to his seat and shouting, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth” twice.
Although Rock carried on with the presentation, Smith later retook the stage to claim his first-ever Best Actor Oscar, which has been hotly debated for close to a week now. Six days after the slap around the world, Denzel Washington revealed that he had prayed with Will Smith after the infamous slap seen around the world.
Denzel Washington ‘Stepped In The Middle Of World War III’ Following Will Smith Oscars Slap
During a panel as part of his Leadership Summit discussion held on Saturday, The Hollywood Reporter noted that both Washington and Tyler Perry had been seen talking to Will Smith after the incident occurred.
After pastor T.D. Jakes joked that Washington had “stepped in the middle of World War III,” Washington joked, “There’s a saying: When the devil ignores you, then you know you’re doing something wrong. The devil goes, ‘Oh, no, leave him alone. He’s my favorite.’”
He later added, “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 ahold of that circumstance that night.”
Washington said that both he and Perry were there to offer prayers for Smith. He declined to share what was said immediately after the event and did not condemn Smith for the assault.
“There but for the grace of God, go any of us. Who are we to condemn?” Washington asked. “I don’t know all the ins and outs of the situation, but I know the only solution was prayer.”
Later on in the panel, Washington said that there was “no way” he could have just stayed in his seat after what he saw take place. “I couldn’t have sat in my seat. No way I could have sat in my seat,” he said. “That’s just not who I am.”
Although Washington declined to share what was said between them, Smith alluded to the prayer Washington said with him during his own teary-eyed Oscar acceptance speech on Sunday night.
Will Smith Says Denzel Told Him ‘At Your Highest Moment … That’s When The Devil Comes For You’
“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family…”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 28, 2022
On Sunday night, Good Morning America posted a snippet of his acceptance speech, which did not include an apology to Rock.
“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” the new Oscar winner began.
“In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what god is calling on me to do and be in this world,” he continued. “Making this film, I got to protect Aunjanue Ellis, who is one of the strongest and most delicate people I’ve ever met. I got to protect Sanaya and Demi, the two actresses that played Venus and Serena.
“I’ve been called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to deliver to my people and to be a river to my people,” he went on. “I know to do what we do, you got to be able to take abuse. You got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you got to have people disrespecting you. You got to smile and you got to pretend like that’s okay.”
“But Richard Williams – and what I loved – Denzel said a few minutes ago, ‘At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.’”
He then apologized to the Academy and the other nominees for his outburst, which was cut out of the “Good Morning America” clip posted above. As of Friday night, Will Smith decided to resign from the Academy and said that he would accept whatever disciplinary measures that the Academy saw fit to deliver.