Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry prayed with Will Smith at the Academy Awards after he slapped Chris Rock.

During the 2022 Oscars, Smith got up on stage and slapped Rock after he made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. Shortly after, video footage taken inside the Dolby Theatre showed the actor deep in discussion with Washington and Perry. 

When he accepted his Best Actor Oscar, he told the audience that Denzel Washington warned him: “At your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you.”

Denzel Washington broke his silence about the controversy during an onstage discussion at Bishop T.D. Jakes’ International Leadership Summit on Saturday.

T.D. Jakes
Distinguished actor Denzel Washington sat down with me during our 2022 @ThisIsILS and taught us how he used his faith to mitigate a painful situation.

Missed our 2022 ILS? Sign up at for the replay and register for our 2023 conference as well! #ThisIsILS


7:57 PM · Apr 3, 2022

“Well, there’s a saying when the devil ignores you, then you know you’re doing something wrong,” Denzel Washington said in a video of the talk posted on Jakes’ Twitter account. “You know, the devil goes, ‘Oh, no, leave him alone, he’s my favorite. Don’t bother him.’ 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 a hold of that circumstance that night.”

Directly addressing what happened in the aftermath of the slap, he added, “Fortunately, there were people there, not just me, but others in the gap (commercial break). Tyler Perry came right immediately, right over there with me. Some prayers. I don’t wanna say what we talked about. There 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 this situation, but I know the only solution was prayer.”

Will Smith apologized for his “inexcusable and unacceptable” behavior after the incident and resigned as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday.