The final award ceremony Oscar awards seemed doomed to oblivion. However, in the final minutes Will Smith shook the drowsiness of the viewers and the face of Chris Rock with a powerful slap on stage. The scene, which perplexed everyone present at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles and the millions of viewers who followed the ceremony around the world, immediately became a meme and the most talked about topic on the networks and in the media for up to several days after. Now, Denzel Washington, the person in charge of calming Smith down after the violent episode, gave his version of what happened and revealed what happened during the commercial break.
An aggressive joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s alopecia problems aroused the wrath of the actress’s husband, who did not hesitate to walk calmly, from his privileged location in the venue, and slap the host hard. The scene was seen by millions of people, but little was known about what happened immediately afterward. Just a few images captured by a cell phone showed the actor from men in black speaking to the side of the stage with Washington during a cut, while another captured the curious reaction of Pinkett-Smith while the confrontation was happening. Now the veteran actor broke the silence and revealed what his strategy was to calm his colleague.
Always a fan of the low profile -some point out that he is not always very friendly with the press- the protagonist of The Pelican Report He did not make those statements to the media, but his revelation took place in the framework of a leadership summit led by Bishop TD Jakes, who asked him to give details about what happened.
That religious context would work like a glove for the anecdote. It is that, minutes after the altercation, Smith returned to the stage to receive the award for best actor for his work in King Richard: A Winning Family. There, in his slurred acceptance speech, he recounted Washington telling him: “At your highest, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.” This Saturday, consulted by Jakes, Washington confirmed his colleague’s sayings and expanded on the concept: “Well, 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’s my favourite.’ On the contrary, when the devil comes to you, it may be because you are trying to do something right. And for some reason the devil got a hold of that circumstance that night”.
“Fortunately there were people there. Not just me, but others, like Tyler Perry, who immediately came with me and said a few prayers. I don’t want to tell what we talked about (…). Who are we to condemn? I don’t know all the details of the situation, but I know that the only solution was prayer“, large.
These statements by one of the key witnesses to the scandal came days after the United States Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences launched an investigation into what happened and, hours later, Smith will present his resignation to the entity that awards the Oscars.
“I want to refocus on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to return to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film. Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overcome reason,” the actor said in a statement announcing his decision to step aside from the Academy. After the episode he starred in last Sunday, Smith He is going through the most complicated moment of his career, with his personal and professional future wrapped in great uncertainty.
Shortly after, the Academy confirmed its acceptance of Smith’s resignation through a statement signed by its president, David Rubin. But, at the same time, he reported that the disciplinary procedure opened against the actor for violations of the entity’s codes of conduct will continue. According to reports, the result of this investigation would be available on April 18.
Rock, meanwhile, referred for the first time in public to what happened in a stand-up show he gave in the city of Boston. There, he assured that he is still “processing what happened” and that he will provide his version of events later, when he is ready to do so.
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He blamed the devil: Denzel Washington and his controversial version of the scandal starring Will Smith at the Oscars