Denzel Washington Says He Prayed With Will Smith After He Slapped Chris Rock At The Oscars

In the week since the 94th Academy Awards, people haven’t been talking about Best Picture winner CODA. They’ve been talking about Will Smith, who slapped presenter Chris Rock and shouted obscenities at him shortly before winning an Oscar. There have been conflicting reports about how the Academy handled Smith immediately after the incident. But one thing is clear: Denzel Washington tried his best to talk some sense into Smith after he snapped.

As per The Hollywood Reporter, the two-time Oscar-winner, who was nominated that night for Macbeth, attended a religious conference on Saturday, where he discussed his career and his faith with pastor T.D. Jakes. The slap inevitably came up, prompting Washington to reveal — as Smith alluded to during his Best Actor speech not long after — that he, as well as Tyler Perry, went over to Smith and started praying with him.

“I couldn’t have sat in my seat. No way I could have sat in my seat,” Washington said. “That’s just not who I am.”

Washington also repeated some words Smith quoted during his speech. “There’s a saying: When the devil ignores you, then you know you’re doing something wrong. The devil goes, ‘Oh, no, leave him at home.’ My favorite,” Washington said with a laugh, before turning serious. “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 also refused to condemn Smith’s actions. “There but for the grace of God, go any of us. Who are we to condemn?” Washington said. “I don’t know all the ins and outs of the situation, but I know the only solution was prayer.”

On Friday night, Smith revealed that he was resigning from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over what he’d done. Meanwhile, Rock’s ticket sales have skyrocketed.

(Via THR)