Actor and former rapper Will Smith won his first Oscar Award last night, but before that feat, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air slapped comedian Chris Rock after a misguided joke toward Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith’s mentor, esteemed actor Denzel Washington consoled the first-time Oscar winner after the bizarre incident on live TV.
According to a Twitter post by The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg, Smith was seen speaking to Washington and Tyler Perry after the shocking incident at the Oscars Sunday night.
During the commercial break, Will Smith is pulled aside and comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, who motion for him to brush it off. Will appears to wipe tears from his eyes as he sits back down with Jada, with Denzel comforting Jada and Will’s rep by his side. pic.twitter.com/uDGVnWrSS2
— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) March 28, 2022
Bradley Cooper also spoke to Smith as he headed back to his seat before finding out that he won an Oscar for his performance in King Richard as Richard Williams, Venus and Serena’s father.
When Smith did accept his award, after apologizing to the Academy for the incident that previously took place, he mentioned a sentence that the Malcolm X actor expressed to him.
“At your highest moment, be careful; that’s when the devil comes for you,” Washington told Smith.
Earlier this month, after Smith won the Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor for the same role, he mentioned in an interview that Washington had informed him that “this is your year.”
“We’ve spent a lot of time together. So we’ve been talking, he’s always been a mentor for me, and he grabbed me, and he said, ‘This is your year,’ “Smith told PEOPLE host Kay Adams. “He just hugged me, saying, ‘I’m so happy for you. Just love who you’re becoming,’”
Smith continues, “He knew me years ago. I would go to Denzel for advice, so he’s seen me through the years, and he was just telling me how proud he is of who I’ve become and what I’ve become. He was saying that he felt like a weight was lifted off of his shoulders somehow.”