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‘It’s a Scary Time to Have an Opinion’: Zoë Kravitz Reflects on Her Criticism of Will Smith’s Slap at the Oscars

Zoë Kravitz is reflecting on the criticism she received for calling out Will Smith’s slap at the Academy Awards this past March. The actor walked onstage and slapped Chris Rock after the comedian had made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her bald head. 

Two days after the shocking incident, Kravitz received backlash for a series of Instagram posts she has since deleted.  “Here’s a picture of my dress at the show where we are apparently assaulting people on stage now,” she captioned the first photo of her look from the March ceremony. The second stated, “And here is a picture of my dress at the afterparty after the award show – where we are apparently screaming profanities and assaulting people on stage now.” Kravitz also replied, “nope” when a fan in the comments asked if she supported how Smith defended his wife.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 27: Zoë Kravitz attends the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/FilmMagic)

The 25-year-old actress reflected on her initial comments during a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal. The backlash left her considering the impact of words written or said on social media.  

“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,” she explained. “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.”

The “Batman” star said the incident reminded her of her role as an artist, which means “expressing something that will hopefully spark a conversation or inspire people or make them feel seen.”

Zoë Kravitz poses on the cover of The Wall Street Journal’s Fall 2022 Women’s Fashion Issue. @zoeisabellakravitz/Instagram

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.”

Kravitz said she’s “torn” on what to say about the matter now since she still has “very complicated feelings around it. She added, “I wish I had handled that differently. And that’s okay.”

Smith’s slap led to months of fallout for the actor who won his first career Oscar Award for Best Actor that night. The “King Richard” star resigned from the Academy and was banned from attending any in-person or virtual Oscar events for 10 years.

Last month, the 54-year-old issued yet another public apology on social media for slapping the comedian on national television. In the video, shared on Instagram, Smith said, “I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk, and when he is he will reach out. So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”

Oscars producer Will Packer commended Smith for “being so transparent” in his apology and wishes the best for both men. “I would just say I love both of those brothers and I’m pulling for them,” he told “Entertainment Tonight” on Aug. 9.

The 48-year-old hopes folks will eventually move on and appreciate the hard work his team put forth at this year’s Oscars.

“People always talk about that, but I hope that over time people will realize it was an energetic, diverse, history-making Oscars ceremony,” he said. “A lot of energy went into it. I’m very prideful of it.”

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