Tyler Perry Clarifies His Actions Post Will Smith’s Oscar Slap – VIBE.com

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It has been two months since the infamous Oscar slap between Will Smith and Chris Rock and attendees of the 94th Academy Awards are still speaking out about it.

During a live Q&A at the Tribeca Film Festival, Tyler Perry caught up with Gayle King and talked about his shortcomings before success and even what went down after Will Smith assaulted Chris Rock for making an insensitive joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head.

Perry, who was criticized for allegedly comforting Smith after the slap, set the record straight by telling Gayle, “I left early to get to Chris to make sure he was okay but felt empathy for Smith, too.”

He added, “There is a difference between comforting and de-escalating. I left early to go and check on Chris because it was wrong in no uncertain terms and I made sure I said that to Will.” He also expressed that being friends with both parties involved “was very difficult.”

Smith, who is now banned from the Oscars for the next 10 years, won Best Actor for King Richard that night and the Madea creator also made it clear that Will was indeed “devastated.”

Perry told Gayle, “He couldn’t believe what happened. He couldn’t believe he did it and I’m looking at this man, in his eyes going, ‘What are you doing? This is your night … and to get all this way to winning an Oscar.’ It was one of the crowning moments of his career that he wanted so desperately.”

Perry named one of his 12 soundstages after Smith at his 330-acre Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Ga. When asked if Smith would lose the titling of his stage, Perry responded to King, saying, “My only problem with it is this: If I talk about it, then it becomes overshadowing of everything else we talked about. That will be the headline for sure.”

Relating to WIll’s past trauma of witnessing domestic abuse as a child, Perry sympathized saying, “I know that feeling … and if that trauma is not dealt with right away as you get older, it will show up in the most inappropriate and horrible times. I think he is very much in reflection, trying to figure out what happened.”

Will Smith has been very open about his childhood traumas in his memoir Will where he talks about “not being able to protect his mother at only eight years old.” Praising Rock for reacting to the slap as a “champion,” Perry alternatively said, “but something happened that was extremely painful for [Smith] as well. It’s no excuse, he was completely wrong, but something triggered. That was so out of everything he is.”

In regards to Smith and Rock figuring out their differences, Perry said, “I feel very uncomfortable. I don’t feel it is my story to tell.”

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