Zoë Kravitz has finally spoken out about all the drama that occurred earlier this year when she shaded Will Smith after his infamous slap at the Oscars.
As I’m sure you’ll remember, the esteemed event in March descended into chaos when Will took the stage and struck presenter and fellow actor Chris Rock across the face for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s, bald head.
Chris was reportedly unaware of the fact that Jada has alopecia when he quipped onstage: “Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,“ a reference to the main character of the movie, who also has a shaved head.
Moments later, Will walked onstage, smacked Chris in the face, and yelled: “Keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth.”
Will shared a personal video formally apologizing to Chris and explaining himself in July, after an extensive bout of silence. “I will say to you, Chris: I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk,” he said.
“I’ve reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is that he is not ready to talk — and when he is, he will reach out,” Will said. A source close to the comedian later told ET that “Chris has no plans to reach out to Will.”
But in the immediate aftermath of The Slap, fans and celebrities alike were quick to flood the internet with their divided opinions on the whole thing — including Zoë Kravitz, who made two shady remarks toward Will as she shared some photos from the memorable night to Instagram the following day.
Alongside a now-deleted picture of herself on the Oscars red carpet, Zoë firstly wrote: “here’s a picture of my dress at the award show where we are apparently assaulting people on stage now.” She later shared a second photo from the afterparty, captioned: “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.”
And as if her captions weren’t pointed enough, Zoë went on to directly respond “nope” to an Instagram user who asked, “You don’t support him defending his wife?”
However, Zoë quickly found herself facing a huge wave of criticism herself when fans questioned why she was publicly condemning Will when she had several unaddressed controversies of her own, including her close friendship with designer Alexander Wang — who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by multiple people — and her past suggestive comments about a then-underage Jaden Smith, son of Will.
During a 2013 interview with V magazine, Zoë — who was 24 at the time — made several suggestive remarks about Jaden, then 14. “There were moments that I was hanging out with Jaden and thinking, I can’t believe you’re 14, I have to check myself, like what I say to you,” she said.
“He has so much personality and so much swag, he is so much cooler than I am. And he’s so handsome, I was always like, When you’re older, you know, we’ll hang out… Nope, that’s inappropriate, you’re 14,” she said.
Zoë’s past comments quickly went viral as fans questioned the uncomfortable remarks. “[You] tellin me zoe kravitz was tryna flirt wit a 14 year old jaden smith yet tried to diss will smith on instagram,” read a tweet that received over 130,000 likes at the time.
And if you were on Twitter during this time, you’ll know that the backlash Zoë received was incredibly intense, with the actor seemingly having gone from universally loved to hated overnight.
Zoë avoided making any public comment on her controversial past remarks and instead chose to quietly delete both of her Instagram posts.
Speaking about her public shade toward Will, Zoë expressed some regret and revealed that she wishes she’d “handled that differently.”
“I’m torn about what to say right now, because I’m supposed to just talk about it,” she said. “I have very complicated feelings around it. I wish I had handled that differently. And that’s okay.”
“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 went on. “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.”
Briefly touching on how she coped with the severe criticism, Zoë revealed she was “reminded” that she’s an artist, before divulging that she no longer wants to “express” herself through “a caption or a tweet.”
“I was reminded that I’m an artist,” she said. “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. 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.”
However, people are now calling Zoë out once again for making no acknowledgment of the problematic comments about Jaden, while seemingly suggesting that the backlash was solely in response to her criticism of Will.
On Twitter, several users maintained that they weren’t annoyed at Zoë for speaking out against Will following The Slap, but more so for her aforementioned past controversies.
“the way most people stopped stanning her not because of the will smith instagram post but because it was revealed that she likes teenagers… so no zoe kravitz it’s not a scary time to have an opinion it’s a scary time to be a WEIRDO,” one person wrote.
the way most people stopped stanning her not because of the will smith instagram post but because it was revealed that she likes teenagers… so no zoe kravitz it’s not a scary time to have an opinion it’s a scary time to be a WEIRDO https://t.co/se1th8slYB
09:17 PM – 16 Aug 2022
“Nah but it was crazy for Zoe Kravitz to criticise a man when you were thirsting over his underage son, like please be serious,” another said.
Nah but it was crazy for Zoe Kravitz to criticise a man when you were thirsting over his underage son, like please be serious. https://t.co/55EM02M1S6
11:48 PM – 16 Aug 2022
Other users dismissed Zoë’s sentiment altogether, suggesting that she was seemingly reducing her past controversial comments about Jaden down to “opinions,” and that she didn’t appear apologetic about them.
Zoe Kravitz so lame for that lmao. Her: *attempts to make a dig at Will Smith* Twitter: “But why were you making predatory comments about his underage son?” Her: “Wow I guess nobody can have opinions anymore. Gonna let my art speak for me now on”
11:59 PM – 16 Aug 2022
“Basically that she wasn’t sorry she did it, just sorry that she has to experience people’s response,” one person guessed.
@Saintasex Basically that she wasn’t sorry she did it, just sorry that she has to experience people’s response https://t.co/rXW6V3eomR
12:32 AM – 17 Aug 2022
Meanwhile, on Reddit, more internet users seemed unimpressed by Zoë’s latest statement, with some arguing that she was “rightfully dragged.”
“She’s mad she got (rightfully) dragged imo. Hollyweird is full of hypocrites. They’re some of the most violent people you’d ever come across with the way they attack, assault and harass people behind the scenes, but want to act sanctimonious about a slap? Please.”
“I mean maybe next time you want to get a good rib in make sure there’s no interviews where you admit that you needed to ‘watch how you talk’ to the guy’s 14-year-old son. Food for thought,” another said.
Others turned their attention to her friendship with Alexander Wang and claimed she was being hypocritical by associating with someone accused of sexual assault while also speaking out against Will’s violence.
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