Denzel Washington tells TD Jakes the advice he gave to Will Smith, says “prayer” was the only answer

Denzel Washington speaks with Bishop TD Jakes at the International Leadership Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 2, 2022. | YouTube/TD Jakes

Over the weekend, Denzel Washington and TD Jakes spoke in more detail about Washington’s run-in with Will Smith following the now-infamous Oscars slap in the face.

Washington, 67, was among those who spoke at Bishop TD Jakes’ International Leadership Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Saturday. The minister asked the actor about the March 27 altercation between Smith and comedian Chris Rock, which is called the “slap heard around the world.”

Smith made headlines last Sunday after slapping Rock in the face at the Academy Awards, an action the Oscar winner has since apologized for. Smith also resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Academy moves forward with disciplinary procedures.

Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes baldness on the scalp. It can affect both men and women of all races. During one of her comedy skits on stage, Rock took aim at Pinkett Smith and her condition with a joke. At first, Smith seemed to laugh at the joke, but his wife was visibly uncomfortable. Then her husband walked up to Rock and slapped him across the face.

Washington and others were seen counseling Smith after the altercation, as the violent confrontation left his Hollywood peers in shock. While accepting his award for best actor that night, Smith shared some advice Washington gave him after the incident.

“At your highest, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you,” Smith said Washington told him.

During a conversation on Saturday, Jakes told Washington that it seemed he “got in the middle of World War III” and acted like a “senior statesman” trying to defuse the situation.

Washington responded: “There’s a saying: when the devil ignores you, then you know you’re doing something wrong. The devil says, ‘Oh no, leave him alone. He is my favorite ‘”.

Washington, who in recent years has become very outspoken about his Christian faith, said the devil got a hold of things that night at the Oscars.

“On the contrary, when the devil attacks you, maybe it’s because you’re trying to do something right,” Washington said. “And for some reason, the devil got a hold of that circumstance that night.”

He refrained from giving Jakes details about the conversation he had with Smith at the time, but made sure not to criticize Smith for his actions.

“There, except by the grace of God, any of us can go. Who are we to condemn? Washington held. “I don’t know all the ins and outs of the situation, but I know that the only solution was prayer.”

Later in the conversation, Washington said he felt compelled to reach out to Smith after the incident, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“I couldn’t have sat in my seat. There was no way I could have sat in my seat,” she said. “That’s not who I am.”

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Denzel Washington tells TD Jakes the advice he gave to Will Smith, says “prayer” was the only answer


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