Speaking out. After Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 94th Annual Academy Awards ceremony, Denzel Washington and other Hollywood friends rushed to comfort the King Richard star.
“There’s a saying, when the devil ignores you, then you realize you’re doing something wrong,” the 67-year—old Washington said during a panel at the T.D. Jakes Leadership Summit on Saturday, April 2, live on The Wrap. “The devil says, ‘Oh no, leave him alone, he’s my favorite.’ Conversely, when the devil attacks you, it’s probably because he’s trying to do something right. And for some reason, the devil possessed him that night.
During the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, the creator of “Everybody Hates Chris” hit the headlines after joking about Jada Pinkett-Smith, who married a 53-year-old Philadelphia native in 1997, and her shaved head. 57-year-old Rock joked that 50-year-old Pinkett Smith could play a major role in a potential action movie “Soldiers”. Continuation of Jane. The Maryland native, whose shaved head was the result of a struggle with alopecia, rolled her eyes during the broadcast. Smith, for his part, stormed onto the Dolby Theater stage and punched Rock in the face.
“Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth,” Smith shouted, returning to his seat. Shortly after the incident, several stars tried to play peacemaker, including Washington, Tyler Perry and Diddy.
“There’s no way I could have sat in my seat,” the Macbeth Tragedy star, who was nominated for Best Actor during the awards ceremony, said on Saturday. “It’s just not who I am. …Fortunately, there were people there, not just me, but others, [like] Tyler Perry, came with me right away.”
Although the “Fences” star declined to reveal specific details of the actors’ conversation, he noted that they offered prayers to Smith.
“Who are we condemning? I do not know all the subtleties of this situation, but I know that the only solution was prayer, as I saw it, as I see it,” Washington added.
While the Academy made sure Smith and Rock were separated during the ceremony, Smith eventually took home the Best Actor trophy for playing Richard Williams—the father of Serena Williams and Venus Williams—in “King Richard.”
“Denzel said a few minutes ago, ‘Be careful at the best moment when the devil is coming for you,'” Smith recalled his conversation with Washington during the trophy reception. “It’s like, I want to be a vessel for love. …This is what I want to do. I want to be an ambassador of such love, care and concern.”