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Denzel Washington won’t “condemn” Will Smith for his behavior at the Oscars.
The 67-year-old actor tried to defuse the situation after Will smacked comedian Chris Rock, but Denzel doesn’t know the “ins and outs of the situation” and he’s reluctant to judge him.
Speaking during an International Leadership Summit at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, Denzel said: “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 you’re trying to do something right. And for whatever reason, the devil got ahold of that circumstance that night.”
Denzel didn’t discuss the specific reasons behind the confrontation. But he also refused to condemn Will for how he reacted to a joke about his wife.
He said: “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 the situation, but I know the only solution was prayer.”
Denzel spoke to Will, 53, in the time between his confrontation with Chris and the moment he collected his Best Actor gong.
The veteran star felt the need to calm the situation down.
He said: “I couldn’t have sat in my seat. No way I could have sat in my seat. That’s just not who I am.”
Meanwhile, Chris has been inundated with big-money offers since the Oscars.
The stand-up comedian could see a financial benefit from the dramatic moment.
A source explained: “Chris has handled the situation with Will with such grace and poise – and it is paying dividends. Hollywood just can’t get enough of him and while people are turning away from Will in droves, they’re queuing up to see Chris.”