Christian leaders, including Paula White-Cain, Joel Osteen, Greg Laurie and John Hagee, have taken to social media to express opinions on Smith's attack on Chris Rock—an incident that Rock described as the "the greatest night in the history of television."
The wacky White-Cain reacted to the slap that reverberated across the world with these words on Twitter: “I declare tonight by faith, God is restoring everything the enemy stole from you seven fold! In the name of Jesus!!”
And Greg Laurie, Harvest Church leader and evangelist, quoted Hollywood star Denzel Washington: “At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.” He added: “Good advice to remember for Will and all of us.”
According to The Christian Post Washington was present when Smith won his Best Actor Award and witnessed the attack.
Smith used most of his acceptance speech apologizing for his behavior without mentioning Rock, but did say sorry Rock the day after.
Midway through his speech, Smith revealed that Denzel Washington, himself an Academy Award-winning actor and a devout Christian, warned him about the devil’s attacks.
Washington, who described himself as “a God-fearing man” in an earlier interview with The New York Times, blathered on about God, the Bible and Heaven. He also revealed that he made a promise to his late mother to “honor her and God.”
This is spiritual warfare. So, I’m not looking at it from an earthly perspective. If you don’t have a spiritual anchor you’ll be easily blown by the wind and you’ll be led to depression.
The entertainer then shared his view of Heaven, explaining that:
There are going to be two lines, the long line and the short line, and I’m interested in being in the short line.
I am a follower of Jesus first in every area of my life, so with that said, would I have responded in this way? No, but would I have addressed it man-to-man? Absolutely, yes, 100%. The development of meekness and maturity as a Christian takes time.
Meekness is not allowing people to disrespect you and walk over all over you, but it is having an appropriate amount of restraint.
According to 6ABC, the slap administered to Rock, who had joked about the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her struggle with hair loss, came as a surprise to Smith’s mother, Carolyn, above, and his family who attended the ceremony.
She said in an interview with the channel:
He is a very even, people person. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen him go off. First time in his lifetime… I’ve never seen him do that.
The family insists that the incident—described by comedian Rock in this video as “the greatest night in the history of television”—doesn’t define him and that the actor puts his family first, that he’s loving and the one who keeps the family together.
Meanwhile, it’s reported here that the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, which organizes and decides the winners each year, said it:
Condemns the actions of Mr Smith. We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.
The Hollywood Reporter claims the events leading up and in the moments after the slap would be discussed at the academy’s board of governors, which gather each year post-Oscars.
At the conclusion of an OnlySky post about the incident, Hermant Mehta wrote:
The people who genuinely believe they are a ‘vessel of God are always the ones you have to watch out for. They always cause the most damage.
After the show, the Academy tweeted a statement, saying it “does not condone violence of any form.”