Denzel Washington has finally shared his opinion on the infamous Will Smith slap when the King Richard actor stormed the stage at the 2022 Academy Awards and served Chris Rock a fresh open hand. After the unprecedented moment, Smith was seen being comforted by Washington and Tyler Perry as emotions were still high. Now, Washington has further explained what he took away from the moment.
As a guest at Bishop T.D. Jakes’ leadership summit on Saturday morning (April 2) the decorated actor opened up about the complexity of the situation, tying spirituality and faith into the conversation. Variety reported the discussion after it was shared by Jakes on social media.
“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 explained to Jakes.
He added, “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’s revelations mirror the same message Smith relayed during his acceptance speech for Best Actor in King Richard just moments after the slap. Smith revealed some of what the elder actor shared with him during the ceremony.
Since the slapping incident, Smith has since issued a formal apology to the comedian and resigned from the Academy. He still faces disciplinary action.
Watch the clip of Denzel Washington in conversation with Bishop T.D. Jakes below.