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Denzel Washington’s powerful words after the Will Smith slap



Cerith Gardiner - published on 03/28/22

This is the only takeaway you really need from last night's dramatic award's ceremony.

If you were scrolling through news feeds today it would be impossible to avoid hearing about “the Slap” at last night’s Oscars.

The now infamous moment when Will Smith sauntered onto the stage and hit comedian Chris Rock, a presenter at the event, for insensitive comments made about Jada Pinkett-Smith, the Fresh Prince actor’s wife.

Some people appreciate that the King Richard actor was rightly defending his wife’s honor, saying Rock went too far when making fun of Pinkett-Smith, who suffers from alopecia. Some wondered if the whole thing was staged, while others were appalled by Smith’s violent response to the insensitive joke.

Yet, out of all the rapidly-forming opinions, there is one voice that made a lot of sense, and that came from Hollywood legend, Denzel Washington.

After his angry reaction, Smith went on to win the Best Actor award for his role in King Richard. And while the incident with Rock certainly took the shine off the moment, Smith explained in his acceptance speech how Washington had taken a moment to advise and calm him after the incident. With words of faith and wisdom the veteran actor shared the following:

At your highest moment be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.”

It’s a short piece of advice with a powerful impact. Just because you’re successful in life, doesn’t mean the devil doesn’t stop his work. In fact, that might be the time when you are tempted the most. This raw moment in the normally glamorous evening reminds us that these Hollywood stars, who some hero-worship, have their vulnerabilities and their weaknesses.

The incident certainly wasn’t pretty, and marred the crowning moment of Smith’s career. No doubt, it will be remembered for years to come. What’s more unfortunate is the number of videos and memes already in circulation that Smith’s young fans will see — their hero publicly assaulting another man.

Unfortunately, with great fame comes a level of responsibility to always be the best you can be, and to fight off that devil who is relentless in his moves. But this also applies to all of us: we should never sit back and think that we have it all under control. We must remind vigilant and make sure that in our own circles of influence we are acting as Christ would have us act.

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