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Friday, May 27, 2022

“Then the devil will come for you”: Denzel Washington’s warning to Will Smith

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The Oscars have their scandal: Will Smith slaps Chris Rock. During the next commercial break of the live event, Denzel Washington talks to Smith. What he tells her becomes public a little later.

Denzel Washington pushed Will Smith aside after his hit on Chris Rock. Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder

In his most recent lead role, Equalizer, two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington also balanced things out, albeit in a different way than he did during the Oscars. There he confronted Will Smith and had a calming effect on him, having caused the incident that night.

Insult towards Jada Pinkett Smith

Will Smith slapped host Chris Rock after he made a joke about Smith’s wife. Rock said of Jada Pinkett Smith, who is also an actress, that her appearance was reminiscent of The Jane Files. In it, the lead actress shaves her head as she completes the US Navy Seals training program. Jada Pinkett Smith suffers from a condition that causes severe hair loss.

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Smith then came onstage and hit Rock with the flat of his hand. When he got back in his seat, he yelled, “Never put my wife’s name in your fucking mouth again.” But a little later it became clear that this was not a coordinated action.

“This is a beautiful moment”

Denzel Washington was one of the first to realize this. He took Will Smith aside in the live event’s next commercial break. There are numerous press photos of the moment and other conversations of Smith in the minutes that followed: Smith seems almost disoriented, as if he was only slowly realizing what had just happened publicly.

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Then Washington put his hand on his shoulder and spoke to him. What he told her became known a little later. Because tonight I should have a script ready for the Oscars: Minutes later, Will Smith was voted best actor. During his acceptance speech, he echoed Washington’s words: “Be careful when you get to the top. Then the devil will come for you.”

Smith continued: “I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to the other nominees. This is a beautiful moment.”


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