Denzel Washington breaks his silence after witnessing Will Smith slap Chris Rock on stage during the ceremony at the 2022 Oscars.
The 67-year-old actor described how he felt while appearing with author and pastor T.D. Jakes in part of his International Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.
Seen by millions this slap will not die down and it won’t and it will be a stain on Will Smith maybe forever. It was hard to watch when it occurred and it’s still hard to watch videos of the assault.
“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 him that night.”
Washington said he and Tyler Perry comforted Smith during a commercial break, as the images show below, and then prayed with Smith.
Smith on Friday resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“I betrayed the trust of the Academy,” Smith wrote. “I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken.”
The academy said it will be moving forward with its disciplinary hearings against Smith for violations of its standards of conduct.
This story originally appeared on NBC New York.