OSCARS 2022

Zoë Kravitz Regrets Wading Into “The Slap” Discourse

Zoë Kravitz wearing a black dress with cutouts
Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage via Getty Images

It may feel like eons since “The Slap,” but the infamous incident is still fresh on Zoë Kravitz’s mind. Two days after Will Smith smacked Chris Rock for cracking a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith’s alopecia while onstage at this year’s Oscars, the 33-year-old actor became embroiled in the scandal by simply posting an Instagram caption and comment. “Here’s a picture of my dress at the show where we are apparently assaulting people on stage now,” she wrote alongside a photo of herself in the pink Saint Laurent gown she wore on the evening in question. “You don’t support him defending his wife?,” one user commented, to which Kravitz succinctly responded “nope.” She eventually deleted the post, but the backlash continued. Now, nearly five months later, Kravitz has made it clear that she has regrets about using her platform to call Smith out.

“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,” she told the WSJ. Magazine. “I wish I had handled that differently. And that’s okay.” The response made Kravitz reflect on speaking out in general. “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 continued. “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.”

Kravitz has learned from what she now considers her mistake. “I was reminded that I’m an artist,” she added. “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.”

Kravitz isn’t the only one who’s still thinking about The Slap: Less than a month ago, Smith broke his silence in an extremely belated video in which he formally apologized to Rock. From the sound of it, though, Kravitz is ready to put it the whole thing in the past. Her grid has returned to its usual programming: ads for Saint Laurent, photos of her dad Lenny, and teases of her directorial debut Pussy Island (starring her boyfriend, Channing Tatum).