Denzel Washington on Will Smith Slap: ‘Who Are We to Condemn?’ – Variety

https://variety.com/2022/film/news/denzel-washington-will-smith-slap-oscars-1235221754/

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Apr 2, 2022 8:38am PT
Denzel Washington Weighs In on Will Smith Slap: ‘Who Are We to Condemn?’

By Jordan Moreau

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Denzel Washington
AP

Popular on Variety
After consoling Will Smith after Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars, Denzel Washington has now spoken publicly about what happened at last Sunday’s awards show.

Washington attended author and bishop T.D. Jakes’ leadership summit on Saturday morning for a discussion about his career and faith when Jakes asked him about what happened between Smith and Rock at the Oscars.

“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 told Jakes on stage.


Washington was seen speaking to Smith, along with Tyler Perry and Smith’s publicist, during the commercial breaks at the Oscars after Smith slapped Rock for making a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith. During his acceptance speech for best actor, Smith thanked Washington and said that Washington told him, “At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.”

“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 said on Saturday.

Smith’s public fallout over the slap has turned into the biggest crisis of his career. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences launched an investigation into the assault this week, and on Friday Smith resigned from the Academy’s membership.

“The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home,” Smith said in a statement Friday. “I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken.”

At his first stand-up show since the slap, Rock spoke about the incident in Boston, saying that he’s still “processing what happened” and will fully discuss it at a later time.


“I don’t have a bunch of shit about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend,” Rock said at Wednesday night’s show. “I’m still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point I’ll talk about that shit. And it will be serious and funny.”

Correction: Washington’s quotes were updated for clarity.

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Anonymous
April 2, 2022 at 9:05 am
“The Devil made me do it”! Flip Wilson’s catch phrase. A good time to look back at the great comedians of our time.

REPLY
jersey girl
April 2, 2022 at 9:49 am
We saw you laughing with Will Smith..Denzel!!

REPLY
banliberals
April 2, 2022 at 6:44 pm
So? He was saying the devil comes at your highest monents because of jokes. He was referring to the slap..JERSEY GIRL!!

REPLY
citizenswain
April 2, 2022 at 9:54 am
I kept wondering if Will Smith was on drugs. If not, he’s lost his mind. The audacity was truly astounding.

REPLY
Bardo
April 2, 2022 at 10:41 am
Sounds like Denzel is a Will Smith apologist. Go figure

REPLY
Benjamin Greco
April 2, 2022 at 1:00 pm
They all stood up and applauded him.

REPLY
Steve
April 2, 2022 at 1:34 pm
Fear of a wife is more powerful than drugs

REPLY
Phillip
April 2, 2022 at 9:55 am
So “Good People on both sides” I guess?

REPLY
Eyeroll City
April 2, 2022 at 10:37 am
Denzel is famously abusive, so it is entirely unsurprising he wouldn’t see a problem with any of this.

REPLY
MC
April 2, 2022 at 10:51 am
Chris Rock attacking Jada Pinkett Smith and Rihanna at their ‘dignified’ Oscar event is no different than the demonizing we saw of Vice President Kamala Harris and the attacks we are currently seeing toward the Supreme Court nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson. Black women are valuable, the Academy needs to address Chris Rock’s behavior toward Black women. We are not Chris Rock’s joke or path to a paycheck.

REPLY
pat
April 2, 2022 at 11:16 am
YOU ARE A FOOL FOR SAYING THAT. AND CONDONING VIOLRNVE

REPLY
Fred
April 2, 2022 at 2:47 pm
Hey “pat”, you are an idRVt!

REPLY
Bo Shumok
April 2, 2022 at 5:37 pm
No Frederick, you are an idiot.

REPLY
Dixon Steele
April 2, 2022 at 11:30 am
Are you on Will’s payroll? And Denzel has cheated on his wife countless times. Is that what the Bible taught you, Denzel?

REPLY
Claudia
April 2, 2022 at 4:24 pm
I’m not one to judge but That Part!

REPLY
doug
April 2, 2022 at 4:24 pm
so did chris which is why his wife divorced him

REPLY
Dex
April 2, 2022 at 12:46 pm
@MC
Race has nothing to do with Chris Rock’s joke about Jada. Will himself was laughing until she gave him the side-eye. By the way, Jada has often boasted about her buzz cut being “spiritual” and liberation from “European” beauty standards. Now it’s alopecia. She needs to decide on a narrative and stick to it.

REPLY
Rita
April 2, 2022 at 2:59 pm
Agree

REPLY
Claudia
April 2, 2022 at 4:29 pm
Lies,lies and more lies.

REPLY
Katie
April 2, 2022 at 12:54 pm
Agreed

REPLY
jason
April 2, 2022 at 1:52 pm
cause youre pathtic/

REPLY
Benjamin Greco
April 2, 2022 at 12:59 pm
As Bill Maher said last night, Alopecia is not Leukemia. The joke was tame.

REPLY
MIke
April 2, 2022 at 1:22 pm
LOL…okay.

REPLY
DMV
April 2, 2022 at 2:12 pm
It’s laughable to compare Jada’s hair loss to the struggles of women like Judge Brown Jackson and VP Harris.

Jada says herself she loves her bald head — being compared to GI Jane – played by a bald and beautiful Demi Moore — was not a slight or a dig, it was complimentary. Jada is obviously only beautiful on the outside.

REPLY
M J
April 2, 2022 at 2:59 pm
exactly thank you

REPLY
Rotundist
April 2, 2022 at 5:14 pm
Stuff and nonsense… And Wanda Sykes said much worse about Jada. And the GI Jane haircut is beautiful. Get a life

REPLY
Don’t worry about it
April 2, 2022 at 7:50 pm
👎

REPLY
Stella
April 2, 2022 at 11:22 am
Denzel needs to sit down. He has lost his mind.

REPLY
EddyL
April 2, 2022 at 12:17 pm
Scientologists stick together … like mud.

REPLY
blue
April 2, 2022 at 12:17 pm
i was always told the devil comes for me when i do bad things js

REPLY
Dex
April 2, 2022 at 12:36 pm
C’mon, Denzel…
Shameful take. Disappointing to see him justifying Will’s violence.

REPLY
A J Foster
April 2, 2022 at 1:23 pm
Smith did right to defend his wife as any other REAL man would.All this so called disgrace is a rouse to get around the movement now that anything is alright and objections are a no no. There comes a time when anything is not ok and an old fashioned reply is in order.

REPLY
Kirk D
April 2, 2022 at 2:56 pm
The only solution is prayer? The solution could be not to hit people. And by the way, the devil isn’t real. Just like Santa and the Easter bunny aren’t real.

REPLY
Lippp
April 2, 2022 at 4:09 pm
Will is wrong. Full Stop.

REPLY
Nunyo Demasio
April 2, 2022 at 4:15 pm
Love denzel’s career but this devil quote makes little sense despite it being cited as profound. The devil goes after people plenty when they are at their lowest. In fact one could argue the opposite of the quote.

REPLY
Doc
April 2, 2022 at 4:31 pm
Denzel means we’ll but that is not in the Bible. And the devil was taken up residence inside of Will and that toxic marriage long before the Oscar Nightmare. But I suspect that the devil likes a big stage also so no better time and place than an International stage for an epic meltdown.

REPLY
Gautam Kaviraj
April 2, 2022 at 5:12 pm
But Did the Lord Almighty Ask you to Ignore Chris Rock completely? If he was not as mentally strong and would have harmed himself or taken an extreme step that day ,all of your collective ignoring and standing ovation would have become your defining sin in the eyes of the Lord

REPLY
Tim M Broyan
April 2, 2022 at 5:42 pm
None of anyone’s business outside of Chris and Will.

REPLY
Ed Modzinski
April 2, 2022 at 6:02 pm
Black people complained they didn’t get a fair share of Oscar’s. Then they get them and this happens.

REPLY
Ed Modzinski
April 2, 2022 at 6:06 pm
Black people complained they didn’t win enough Oscar’s. Now they do and this happens.

REPLY
Joanie
April 2, 2022 at 7:11 pm
Denzel! Smith was laughing at the joke til Jada gave him the evil eye! You didn’t see that did you?

REPLY

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