Denzel Washington is speaking publicly for the first time about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock during the 94th Oscars.
On Saturday, the Oscar-winning actor appeared with pastor T.D. Jakes as part of his International Leadership Summit in a discussion centered on Washington’s career and faith. During the panel, the conversation turned to Sunday night’s Oscars, where Washington could be seen interceding between the two actors and later consoling Smith alongside Tyler Perry.
Distinguished actor Denzel Washington sat down with me during our 2022 @ThisIsILS and taught us how he used his faith to mitigate a painful situation.
— T.D. Jakes (@BishopJakes) April 3, 2022
Jakes told Washington during the Saturday event that he had “stepped in the middle of World War III,” and the actor responded first with humor.
“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,’” Washington said, laughing, before becoming more solemn. “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 went on to say that fortunately people were there including Perry, who he said came over immediately and shared in prayers with Smith.
“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 during the panel, Washington also told Jakes when the topic of the actor remaining in his seat was broached that it wasn’t an option for him to not get up and address Smith.
“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.”
In the days since, Smith has issues an apology to Rock, he has also resigned from the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Science.
It’s been reported that production on two his films, “Fast & Loose” at Netflix and “Bad Boys 4” have also been halted. According to The Hollywood Reporter director David Leitch jumped ship before the infamous Oscars slap but Netflix has now quietly moved the film to the back burner instead of scrambling to find a replacement.
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