Tyler Perry Clarifies Claims He's Comforting Will Smith After Oscars Slap

Alongside Denzel Washington, the billionaire/filmmaker was photographed speaking to the 'King Richard' actor directly after the latter smacked comedian Chris Rock at this year's ceremony.

AceShowbiz - Tyler Perry recalled Will Smith's Oscars incident in a new interview. During wide-ranging conversation with Gayle King as part of the Tribeca Film Festival's Directors Series in New York City on Monday, June 13, Tyler addressed the shocking moment which took place at the 2022 Academy Awards back in March.

"There's a difference between comforting and deescalating, that's No. 1," Tyler, who was photographed speaking to Will directly after the latter smacked Chris Rock onstage, noted. "And I left early to get to Chris to make sure he was okay. Being friends with both of them has been very difficult."

The actor/director/producer went on to say, "Trust me, as painful as it was for all of us in the room, it was as painful for Chris, who was a pure champion for the way he handled it." The "A Madea Homecoming" star added, "But I want you to understand that something happened that was extremely painful for [Will] as well. That is no excuse. He was completely wrong for what he did. But something triggered him - that is so out of everything he is."

Tyler also agreed that Will's outburst was "wrong in no uncertain terms, and I made sure I said that to Will." Of Will, who won best actor award for his performance in "King Richard" later that night, he continued, "And I'll tell you, when we walked over to him, he was devastated. He couldn't believe what happened. He couldn't believe he did it."

The filmmaker went on to share, "I'm looking at this man in his eyes going, 'What are you doing? This is your night.' And to get all the way to this moment, winning an Oscar, that was one of the crowning moments of his career that he wanted so desperately, and to have something like that happen...."

"I think he is very much in reflection of trying to figure out what happened," Tyler added. "Because what I'll tell you is I just read his book, and there's this moment about not being able to protect his mother [as a child]. I know that feeling - I'm getting chills just thinking about it. I know that feeling of being a man and thinking about the little boy. And if that trauma is not dealt with right away, as you get older it will show up in the most inappropriate, most horrible time. I know Will. I know him well."

Will slapped Chris after the comedian made brief jokes about Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved hair. After staying mum for a while, the 50-year-old actress finally addressed the incident in a recent episode of her "Red Table Talk".

"About Oscar night: My deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out and reconcile. With the state of the world today, we need 'em both, and we all actually need one another more than ever," Jada, who has been open about her stuggle with Alopecia, said at the time. "Until then, Will and I are continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years - and that's [to] keep figuring out this thing called life together. Thank you for listening."

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