Denzel Washington says that he couldn’t help but speak up after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards, last Sunday. Speaking at T.D. Jakes’ leadership summit on Saturday, Washington explained his lesson about the devil that he told Smith after the infamous incident.

“Well, there’s a saying, ‘When the devil ignores you, then you know you’re doing something wrong.’ The devil goes, ‘Oh no, leave him alone, he’s my favorite.’ Conversely, when the devil comes at you, maybe it’s because he’s trying to do something right. And for whatever reason the devil got ahold of that circumstance that night,” Washington said.

Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Chris Rock
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Washington was spotted alongside Tyler Perry speaking to Smith during the Oscars’ commercial break. Later in the night, Smith thanked Washington for his words of support during his acceptance speech for best actor.

“There but for the grace of God, go any of us. Who are we to condemn? I don’t know all the ins and outs of the situation, but I know the only solution was prayer,” Washington continued.

As for why he stepped in, he said: “I couldn’t have sat in my seat. No way I could have sat in my seat. That’s just not who I am.”