Zoë Kravitz is reflecting on her messages that followed Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars ceremony, saying she wishes she had “handled that differently.”
During an interview with WSJ Magazine that published online Tuesday (Aug. 16), the actress addressed her Instagram posts that seemingly referenced Smith confronting Rock onstage at the March 27 event and yelling at him from his seat following a joke about the King Richard star’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. The posts, which did not name anyone directly, were the subject of criticism from Smith’s supporters and later deleted.
“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 told the publication. “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.”
One of her posts from the time of the incident showed the star of The Batman on the red carpet and included the caption, “Here’s a picture of my dress at the award show where we are apparently assaulting people on stage now.” A second post featuring another pic of herself at the Oscars included a similar message: “And here is a picture of my dress at the party after the award show -where we are apparently screaming profanities and assaulting people on stage now.”
Kravitz told the magazine that she doesn’t feel the need to always make comments that will be universally supported. “I was reminded that I’m an artist. Being an artist is not about everybody loving you or everyone thinking you’re hot. It’s about expressing something that will hopefully spark a conversation or inspire people or make them feel seen,” she continued. “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.”
She went on to say that she feels a mixture of emotions about her Oscars posts and wouldn’t necessarily handle it that same way if given a chance for a do-over. “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,” Kravitz said. “I wish I had handled that differently. And that’s OK.”
Her comments follow Smith taking to Instagram himself last month for the latest reflection on his response to Rock’s onstage joke about his wife’s shaved head, which took place before Smith accepted the best actor Oscar for King Richard. In the message, Smith said, in part, that “there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment.”
He had previously apologized to the Academy during his acceptance speech, and then apologized to Rock on Instagram the day after the ceremony. Smith later resigned from the Academy, and the organization has banned him from attending their events for 10 years, although he’ll still be eligible for Oscar nominations and wins.