There has been no shortage of responses to the stunning moment at Sunday night’s Academy Awards, when actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock, who was presenting on stage, for a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith.
Rock joked about Jada’s shaved head, which is due to alopecia, though it’s not clear the comedian knew her condition.
After making the quip, Smith walked onto the stage and struck Rock across the face before screaming profanely at the “Spiral” actor for daring to make fun of his wife.
If you haven’t seen the slap seen ’round the world, here it is:
Later in the night, when Smith accepted the Oscar for his performance in “King Richard,” the actor tearfully apologized to The Academy (but did not mention Rock) and referenced a bit of wisdom given to him by fellow celebrity Denzel Washington, who is outspokenly Christian.
“At your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you,” Washington told Smith.
Since the entire scene unfolded, several Christian leaders have chimed in on social media, sharing their thoughts on the disturbing incident that stole the show on Hollywood’s biggest night:
One of the most gracious responses came from Josh Broome, a former porn star who is now a pastor.
“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%,” Broome wrote in an Instagram post. “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.”
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“With that said, as a husband, you’re also called [to] protect your family at all costs,” he continued. “To be clear, I do not celebrate the fact that Will did this, but is there a time in my life that I would have responded this way? Yes, for certain. What is inside of you will come out when pressed hard enough, regardless of the stage.”
Broome went on to write he is a “fan” of Smith and noted he is praying for “reconciliation.”
More than anything, though, the pastor said he sees what unfolded at the Oscars ceremony as a symptom of a culture that has totally rejected Jesus.
“It is sad,” Broome wrote. “We live in an incredibly broken world that needs Jesus desperately. I don’t know the status of either [man’s] heart when it comes to salvation, but I pray that this moment is one to reflect upon to surrender to the only One who can make all things new.”
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