Denzel Washington speaks publicly about Will Smith’s Chris Rock hit at the 94th Oscars

Denzel Washington spoke publicly about his interaction with Will Smith on Oscar night and what happened after Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage.

Washington was a guest and speaker at Bishop TD Jakes’ leadership summit on Saturday. During the two-hour discussion about the faith and his award-winning acting career, Washington was asked about the infamous slap and what happened afterward.

“Well, there’s a saying when the devil ignores you, that’s when you know you’re doing something wrong,” Washington said in a video of the exchange posted to Jakes’ verified Twitter account.

“You know, the devil says, ‘Oh no, leave him alone, he’s my darling. Don’t bother him.’ Conversely, if the devil comes your way, maybe it’s because you’re trying to do something right, and for some reason the devil caught that circumstance that night.”

At the Academy Awards, Smith took to the stage and punched Chris Rock, who was presenting at the time, after making a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.

RELATED | Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at Oscars after joke at wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s expense and apologizes

Shortly after the incident, Smith won his first Oscar and apologized to the Academy and others for the earlier incident.

During his acceptance speech, Smith said that prior to his win, fellow candidate Washington shared some wisdom with him: “Be careful in your highest moment, then the devil will come for you.”

Washington said during Saturday’s discussion that he joined actor and producer Tyler Perry in prayer after the Smith incident.

“Luckily, there were people, not just me, but others in the gap,” Washington told Jakes. “Tyler Perry came over right away, right over there with me.”

RELATED | Will Smith is resigning from the Academy after backlash over Chris Rock’s slap in the face

Washington would not say what the three men spoke or prayed about after the incident.

“Who should we judge?” asked Washington. “I don’t know all the details of the situation, but I do know that the only solution was prayer.”

Smith apologized in a statement on Instagram Monday, calling his behavior “unacceptable and inexcusable.”

The CNN Wire
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Dais Johnston

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