Tyler Perry Spills All On Will Smith's Oscar Slap

Yes, that's right, we are still talking about it — or at least, Tyler Perry is still talking about it. "It" being the Will Smith Oscars slap that is forever burned into our collective cultural memory, of course. In all fairness, Perry was at least physically present for the slap, so he can offer some eye-witness perspective on the event. 

As you all know, Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith being bald (which is due to her alopecia) while presenting at the Oscars, and in response, Will rushed on stage and slapped the comedian in the face before returning to his seat. It still sounds wild when you say it out loud, doesn't it? Anyway — the entire audience was shocked, and both Perry and Denzel Washington went up to Smith during the commercial break to offer wisdom and maybe a little comfort. Seeing as he delivered his acceptance speech through tears, it's clear that the "King Richard" star was distraught by the event, but Perry has a first-hand account.

Tyler Perry said Will Smith was 'devastated'

Tyler Perry opened up to Gayle King during the Tribeca Film Festival about that infamous slap, describing it as "painful" for everyone involved and in more ways than one. "Trust me, as painful as it was for all of us in the room, it was as painful for Chris [Rock], who was a pure champion for the way he handled it," Perry said, per People. "But I want you to understand that something happened that was extremely painful for [Will Smith] 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."  

Perry said that when he went up to Smith, the soon-to-be-Oscar-winner was "devastated," and basically in a state of shock. "He couldn't believe what happened. He couldn't believe he did it," Perry said. The filmmaker also clarified that when he approached Smith after The Slap it wasn't to offer comfort, per se, but to "deescalate" the situation. And yes, he did check on Rock after the incident as well. 

Denzel Washington was of course also there to offer his own deescalation services, getting a shout-out in Smith's acceptance speech for his obviously meaningful advice. Per Associated Press, Smith said, "Denzel said to me a few minutes ago, he said, 'At your highest moment, be careful. That's when the devil comes for you.'" We suppose demonic possession would explain some things.