Tyler Perry has opened up about what went down in the aftermath of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock live on stage at the Oscars, a.k.a. The Slap. The prolific writer/director was photographed talking to Smith shortly after the incident, and there were reports of Perry praying with Smith, Denzel Washington, and others. However, Perry is setting the record straight that his involvement was not about nursing egos, but bringing the temperature down as quickly as possible. While speaking to Gayle King at the Tribeca Film Festival, Perry shot down the narrative that he was consoling Smith.
“There’s a difference between comforting and de-escalating,” Perry said via Rolling Stone. “Being friends with both of them, it’s been very difficult.”
According to Perry, he talked to both Smith and Rock in the moments after The Slap, and he told Smith he messed up big time. “I was there close up. I left early to go and check on Chris because it was wrong in no uncertain terms. I made sure I said that to Will, and when we walked over to him, he was devastated. He couldn’t believe what happened.”
While Perry doesn’t condone Smith’s violence, ultimately, he believes that it came from Smith not being able to protect his mother from his abusive father as a young boy.
“I know that feeling, I’m getting chills thinking about it,” Perry told King. “I know that feeling of being a man and thinking about the little boy. If that trauma is not dealt with right away as you get older, it will show up in the most inappropriate, most horrible time.”
(Via Rolling Stone)