Denzel Washington publicly spoke about the Will Smith and Chris Rock on-stage altercation at this year’s Oscars on Saturday during T.D. Jakes International Summit, according to Variety.
Jakes invited Washington to the event to discuss his career and faith. The conversation then turned to slapgate, “I got to ask you right now, Pastor Washington, you stepped in the middle of World War III, we were looking at Ukraine, and it happened at the Oscars when Will, who I love, smacked, Chris who I love, you came in as a senior statesman into that situation…what happened…to these legends, these icons [who] got into a fight,” inquired the revered pastor of the Oscar-winning actor.
Leaning back in his chair on stage, the “Macbeth” actor sheepishly smiled and then explained, “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 said to Jakes, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Video footage captured Washington, Tyler Perry, and Smith’s publicist speaking with the distraught movie star during the commercial break after shouting a profanity-laced rant at comedian Chris Rock for a distasteful joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
The actor would not elaborate on what the three men discussed, but he did say he could not pass judgment on Smith’s uncharacteristic unhinged moment.
“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 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 said to Jakes, Variety reports.
Washington also told Jakes that he could not remain in his seat without addressing 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.”