Denzel Washington on Will Smith slap: ‘Devil got ahold of him’ | Hollywood - Hindustan Times

Denzel Washington's take on why Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at Oscars: ‘Devil got ahold of him’

Apr 02, 2022 09:40 PM IST

Denzel Washington was among the first ones to offer support to Will Smith after he slapped Chris Rock on Oscars stage.

Actor Denzel Washington has explained the ‘devil comes for you’ words of support that he gave Will Smith after the latter slapped comedian Chris Rock on the Oscars stage on Sunday. In his acceptance speech after winning the Best Actor award during the ceremony, Will has shared what Denzel told him to calm his nerves. (Also read: Daniel Radcliffe ‘dramatically bored’ of Oscar drama, recalls his own experience)

Denzel Washington with Will Smith at the 94th Academy Awards.
Denzel Washington with Will Smith at the 94th Academy Awards.

Will Smith slapped Chris Rock in what is being called the most controversial moment in Oscars history at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony. He was offended by a joke that Chris made about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head. After winning the award for his performance in King Richard, Will said, “Denzel told me, ‘At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.’"

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On Saturday, Denzel attended author and bishop T.D. Jakes’ leadership summit for a discussion about his career and faith. There, Jakes asked him about the incident.

As per a report in Variety, Denzel said, “Well, 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 favourite.’ 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 a hold of him that night." Denzel was also nominated that night for his performance in The Tragedy of Macbeth.

“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," he added.

Will Smith tried another solution too on Friday night as he submitted his resignation from the Academy, which got accepted. However, it does not mean trouble is over just yet for the actor as the Academy is still to decide what disciplinary action it will take against him. Will even stand to lose his Best Actor award, face a lifelong ban, or even legal action.

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