Denzel Washington, who was seen consoling Will Smith moments after the ‘King Richard’ actor slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars, spoke out on Saturday about the night’s controversy, asking ‘Who are we to condemn?’
Washington, 67, spoke out about the incident at author and bishop T.D. Jakes’ International Leadership Summit after a conversation focused on the Macbeth actor’s career and religious faith, when Jakes told Washington he had ‘stepped into the middle of World War III.’
Washington was seen speaking with Smith, 53, along with the Tyler Perry and Smith’s publicist, during a commercial break after Smith slapped announcer Rock for making a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald hairstyle, which she sports due to her struggle with alopecia.
In that moment, Washington told Jakes, he Perry and Smith prayed.
Denzel Washington, left, spoke out on Saturday about Will Smith’s attack on Chris Rock at the Oscars ceremony. Washington was seen consoling Smith during a commercial break, moments after he slapped the ceremony’s announcer
Washington (pictured left) said that he, Smith and Tyler Perry (pictured right) prayed after Smith’s show-stopping loss of composure. He told bishop T.D. Jakes that he knew ‘the only solution was prayer’
Washington’s discussion of the incident came a day after Smith announced his resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences amid an impending investigation into his actions during the ceremony
‘Fortunately there were people there. Not just me, but others,’ Washington recalled.
‘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.’
Washington’s fellow stars who criticized the incident, including Jim Carrey and Zoe Kravitz, have faced backlash and were accused of hypocrisy as their own scandals were re-aired by Twitter.
Washington said it wasn’t an option to remain in his seat and not console 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.’
During his acceptance speech as Best Actor, Smith thanked Washington, and said that the older actor had told him ‘At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.’
Washington, right, said it wasn’t an option to remain in his seat and not console Smith, center: ‘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’
During his acceptance speech as Best Actor, Smith thanked Washington, and said that the older actor had told him ‘At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you’
Denzel expounded on the expression to Jakes on Saturday:
‘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 favorite.”‘
‘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 ahold of that circumstance that night.’
Washington’s discussion of the incident came a day after Smith announced his resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences amid an impending investigation into his actions during the awards ceremony, saying he will accept any further consequences from the Academy’s board for slapping Rock.
Bishop T.D. Jakes, pictured, joked that Washington had ‘stepped into the middle of World War III’ by getting involved with Smith at his International Leadership Summit
In a statement on Monday, posted to his Instagram, the best actor winner for ‘King Richard’ said his actions ‘were shocking, painful, and inexcusable. The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home.’
The Academy held an emergency board meeting of its governors on Wednesday to begin a formal review process of Smith’s conduct.
At his first stand-up show since the Oscars on Wednesday, Rock, 57, spoke briefly about the incident in Boston, saying that he was still ‘processing what happened.’
Chris Rock is pictured on Wednesday evening arriving at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston ahead of his sold-out show
Chris Rock stopped his fans from cursing out Will Smith during his comedy show in Boston Thursday night
‘I don’t have a bunch of s*** about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend,’ the comedian told the audience at the Wilbur Theatre, who chanted ‘Will Smith’ and heckled the comedian about the incident.
‘I’m still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point I’ll talk about that shit. And it will be serious and funny.’
The following night in Boston, Rock stopped his fans from cursing out Smith during his comedy show in Boston on Thursday night.
‘F**k Will Smith!’ a fan shouted, likely in an attempt to show support for Rock.
‘No, no, no, no, no…’ the comedian replied, according to People, putting an end to the verbal attacks.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk