Zoë Kravitz reacts to backlash she received after slamming Will Smith's Oscars slap: 'I'm torn'

·2 min read

Zoë Kravitz has reconsidered her (very) public reaction to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on stage at the 2022 Oscars.

In an Instagram photo she shared soon afterwards, the Batman actress called the March ceremony "the show where we are apparently assaulting people on stage now," referring to when Smith approached Rock during the live broadcast and hit him in the face after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head. (Pinkett Smith has alopecia.)

"It's a scary time to have an opinion or to say the wrong thing or to make controversial art or statements or thoughts or anything," Kravitz said in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, nodding to her since-deleted post that led to intense online backlash. "It's mostly scary because art is about conversation. That should, in my opinion, always be the point. The internet is the opposite of conversation. The internet is people putting things out and not taking anything in."

Zoë Kravitz attends the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California.
Zoë Kravitz attends the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California.

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images Zoë Kravitz has addressed the backlash to her comments about Will Smith's Oscars slap.

The 33-year-old actress told the outlet the response reminded her that "being an artist is not about everybody loving you or everyone thinking you're hot," but rather "expressing something that will hopefully spark a conversation."

"I think I'm in a place right now where I don't want to express myself through a caption or a tweet. I want to express myself through art," Kravitz added. "I'm torn about what to say right now, because I'm supposed to just talk about it; I have very complicated feelings around it. I wish I had handled that differently. And that's [okay]."

After the Oscars, industry-wide commentary about the incident poured in from across Hollywood, from both detractors (hosts Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes spoke out against Smith) and supporters (Tiffany Haddish praised him).

Smith posted a lengthy apology on Instagram but was subsequently banned from attending any Academy-related events — including the annual Academy Awards — for the next 10 years, though he was permitted to keep the Oscar he won this year for King Richard.

In July, Smith posted a video about the moment, revealing that he had reached out to Rock, whom he said wasn't ready to discuss it with him just yet. "I apologize to you, my behavior was unacceptable, and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk," he said.

Pinkett Smith also addressed the incident at the top of a season 5 episode of her Red Table Talk series, expressing hope that both men would have the "opportunity to heal, talk this out, and reconcile."

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