The actor and producer talked for the first time about the Oscars incident in which he tried to calm Will Smith.
Everybody remembers the incident at the Oscars ceremony in which Will Smith went on to the stage and slapped Chris Rock for making a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s alopecia. Right after the altercation, as seen on some of the ceremony footage, Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry was talking with Will in what it seems an attempt to calm things down. Well, now we know what really happened.
During a Q&A session with Gayle King at the Tribeca Film Festival, producer Tyler Perry addressed the incident and what happened during that time he approached Will Smith after he slapped Chris Rock.
According to Perry, he was trying to calm the situation. “There’s a difference between comforting and de-escalating”, he said according to Variety.
“I was there, close up. I left early to go and check on Chris because it was wrong in no uncertain terms and I made sure I said that to Will,” he added as reported by Deadline.
Tyler also revealed that Will Smith was “devastated” after the slap and he couldn’t believe what has he just done on a night that was supposed to celebrate his career and work by winning his first Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in “King Richard”.
“He couldn’t believe he did it. And I’m looking at this man in his eyes, going, ‘What are you doing? This is your night,’” said Perry.
“It’s no excuse, he was completely wrong, but something triggered. That was so out of everything he is,” Perry continued, referring to Smith, according to Deadline.
Taylor Perry is friends of both Will Smith and Chris Rock, so he said that seeing them in this situation was “very difficult”.
After the incident, Chris Rock decided not to press charges against Will Smith despite the LAPD being ready to arrest Smith. Will Smith was banned from attending the ceremony for the next 10 years and he presented his resignation to the Academy.