Denzel Washington is breaking his silence about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock onstage during last weekend’s Oscars.
Washington was one of several celebs at the ceremony to privately speak with Smith after the incident, along with Tyler Perry and Bradley Cooper; Smith even shared some of the wisdom that Washington imparted in his acceptance speech.
“Denzel said to me a few minutes ago, he said, ‘At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you,'” said Smith while accepting the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in “King Richard”.
“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 favourite,’” Washington said, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
“Conversely, when the devil comes at you, maybe it’s because you’re trying to do something right. And for whatever reason, the devil got ahold of that circumstance that night,” he added.
Washington appeared sympathetic toward Smith. “There but for the grace of God, go any of us. Who are we to condemn?” Washington asked. “I don’t know all the ins and outs of the situation, but I know the only solution was prayer.”
Later during the panel, Washington explained why he felt called to go over to speak with 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.”