Tyler Perry admits being friends with both Will Smith and Chris Rock has been “very difficult” since the Oscars.
The 52-year-old actor has opened up on this year’s Academy Awards when “King Richard” star Will smacked comedian Chris across the face after he made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia, and he explained that being on good terms with them both was tricky as he tried to defuse the situation on the night.
He said: “There’s a difference between comforting and de-escalating, that’s number one. And I left early to get to Chris to make sure he was okay. Being friends with both of them has been very difficult.”
The “Madea Homecoming” star left the awards ceremony early to check on Chris after realising that Will, who just 40 minutes after the smack picked up the best actor award for his role in “King Richard”, was shocked to realise what he had just done.
Speaking at the Tribeca Film Festival Q and A, he added: “I was there, close up. I left early to go check on Chris because it was wrong in no uncertain terms, and I made sure I said that to Will.
“And I'll tell you, when we walked over to him, he was devastated. 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 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.”
Following the incident, Smith – who has been married to Jada since 1997 and has children Jaden, 23, and Willow, 21, with her – previously described his behaviour at the Oscars as “shocking, painful and inexcusable”.
As a result of his actions, the “Men in Black” actor resigned from the Academy after issuing an apology.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also announced the actor would be banned from attending any of their events, both virtually and in-person, for 10 years.