Tyler Perry Says It’s Been ‘Difficult’ Being Friends With Chris Rock And Will Smith After Oscar Slap Incident
Being close friends with Chris Rock and Will Smith hasn’t been easy for Tyler Perry, who was present at the Oscars in February when the “Concussion” star slapped Chris across the face.
During a conversation with Gayle King as part of the Directors Series at the Tribeca Film Festival on Monday, Tyler recounted his shock after witnessing the now-infamous incident as he candidly discussed the aftermath of the situation that stunned not just Hollywood but viewers at home.
“I was there close up, I left early to go and check on Chris because it was wrong in no uncertain terms,” the 52-year-old expressed about the aftermath, adding that he made sure to tell Will that his actions were out of line.
But it appeared as if Will, too, was just as stunned as his industry peers, as Tyler recalled the father-of-two being “devastated” by the fiasco. “He couldn’t believe what happened.”
Pictures of Will after the incident saw him talking to Bradley Cooper and Tyler, but according to the Madea actor, he wasn’t trying to comfort Will by any means — he says he was trying to deescalate the situation.
“There’s a difference between comforting and de-escalating,” he shared. before admitting that the awkward situation has left him in a difficult position since he’s close pals with both of them, but he wouldn’t want to take sides even though he believes Will was in the wrong. “Being friends with both of them, it’s been very difficult.”
“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.”