Will Smith walking onstage and slapping Chris Rock for making a joke about Will’s wife Jada’s shaved head, was one of the most controversial moments in the history of Oscars. The incident sent waves all across social media, news channels, talk shows, and every form of media outlet.
One of the people seen talking to Will right after the incident occurred was Tyler Perry. Perry along with Denzel Washington was seen speaking to the Men in Black star right after the smack, and now, several months after the incident, Perry has spoken out, sharing with people what really happened and how he feels about it.
As part of the Tribeca Film Festival’s Directors Series, Tyler spoke with Gayle King and gave his account of how things went down at the Oscars.
Tyler made it clear that he will not justify what Will did and said that it was “wrong in no uncertain terms.”
However, Tyler recalls that Will was as shocked as anyone that night at what had transpired.
“He was devastated. He couldn’t believe what happened. 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 Tyler.
Tyler said that when he and Denzel were speaking to Will right after the slap he was not comforting Will but rather trying to deescalate the situation. “There’s a difference between comforting and deescalating, that’s No. 1,” Said Tyler.
Tyler also revealed that he left early to go check up on Chris Rock who according to Perry, “was a pure champion,” for the way that he handled the entire situation. Perry said that ever since the whole incident, “Being friends with both of them has been very difficult.”
Chris Rock has touched on the incident briefly during his stand-up routines ever since but has refused to speak about the incident at length.
Will Smith on the other hand took to social media to apologize to Chris Rock and even resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Academy has banned Smith from attending the award show for 10 years as a result of Will’s actions.