Denzel Washington on Will Smith slapping Chris Rock: ‘Who are we to condemn?’

Denzel Washington has shared his thoughts on Will Smith slapping Chris Rock during Sunday night’s Oscars after he was seen consoling the Academy Award-winner following the incident.

“Well, there’s a saying, ‘When the devil ignores you, then you know you’re doing something wrong,’” Washington began Saturday morning during a discussion about his career and faith with author and bishop T.D. Jakes during his leadership summit, Variety reports.

“The devil goes, ‘Oh no, leave him alone, he’s my favorite,’” he continued. “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, Tyler Perry, Bradley Cooper and others were seen speaking to Smith during the commercial break that followed the actor smacking Rock across the face for a G.I. Jane joke aimed at wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. 

During Will’s acceptance speech for Best Actor, Smith thanked Washington for sharing these wise words: “At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.”

The “Tragedy of Macbeth” star continued, “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,” Washington added.

Smith’s actions have resulted in the actor resigning from The Academy in a statement released Friday. He also apologized to Rock for the incident.

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable.”


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