Reflecting on the recent wave of internet outrage she faced for denouncing Will Smith’s now-infamous slapping of Chris Rock at the Academy Awards, The Batman star Zoë Kravitz has asserted that the entire affair opened her eyes to how “it’s a scary time to have an opinion.”
Taking to her personal Instagram account shortly after the ceremony concluded, Kravitz drew the ire of the internet’s more rabid users after criticizing the King Richard star for his emotionally-charged assault in a pair of now-deleted Instagram posts made to her personal account shortly after the ceremony had concluded.
“Here’s a picture of my dress at the award show where we are apparently assaulting people on stage now,” read her first post, as written alongside a photograph of herself taken on the red carpet earlier that evening.
In her second, the actress shared a photo of herself in “my dress at the party after the award show where we are apparently screaming profanities and assaulting people on stage now.”
Speaking to the fallout she faced after looking unfavorably on Smith’s actions, Kravitz told The Wall Street Journal during a recent interview given in promotion of her upcoming cinematic directorial debut, the provocatively named thriller P—y Island, that “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.”
“It’s mostly scary because art is about conversation. That should, in my opinion, always be the point,” said the actress. “The internet is the opposite of conversation. The internet is people putting things out and not taking anything in.”
The Catwoman actress added, “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.”
“I think I’m in a place right now where I don’t want to express myself through a caption or a tweet,” she opined. “I want to express myself through art.”
Turning back to the topic at hand, Kravitz concluded, “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,” she said. “And that’s OK.”
In regards to the two men involved in the central controversy, the most recent development in the ongoing story saw Smith take to his own Instagram to issue an apology to Rock.
“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 apologise to you,” the Suicide Squad actor declared. “My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
Smith then went on to issue an apology to Rock’s mother, recalling that he “saw an interview that Chris’s mother did and, you know, that was one of the things about that moment I just didn’t realize and, you know, I wasn’t thinking about how many people got hurt in that moment.”
“So I want to apologize to Chris’s mother,” he continued. “I want to apologize to Chris’s family; specifically [Chris Rock’s brother] Tony Rock. You know, we had a great relationship. You know, Tony Rock was my man. And this is probably irreparable.”
The actor then admitted, “I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and the complexities of what happened in that moment. And I’m not going to try to unpack all of that right now.”
“But I can say to all of you, there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment,” he claimed. “There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults.”
He then addressed the question many have asked themselves following the altercation, responding to his own rhetorical question of “’After Jada rolled her eyes, did she tell you to do something?'” with a definitive “No.”
“It’s like, you know, I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences, from my history with Chris…Jada had nothing to do with it,” he explained.
“I’m sorry, babe,” Smith said to his wife Jada, later addressing his own family and Oscar nominees, even. “I want to say sorry to my kids and my family for the heat that I brought on all of us. To all my fellow nominees, you know, this is a community.”
“It’s like, I won because you voted for me, and it really breaks my heart to have stolen and tarnished your moment,” he reflected. “I can still see Questlove’s eyes, you know, it happened on Questlove’s award. And, you know, it’s like, ‘I’m sorry’ really isn’t sufficient.”
Turning to what he would say to the people who were disappointed in him following his embarrassing moment at the Oscars, Smith declared, “So there’s two things. One, disappointing people is my central trauma. I hate when I let people down. So, it hurts.”
“It hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know I didn’t live up to people’s image and impression of me,” Smith admitted. “And the work I’m trying to do is… I am deeply remorseful and I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself,” said the disgraced actor.
“I’m human and I made a mistake, and I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of s—t,” he said. “So I would say to those people I know it was confusing. I know it was shocking.”
“But I promise you I am deeply devoted and committed to putting light and love, and joy into the world,” Smith ultimately asserted. “And, if you hang on, I promise we’ll be able to be friends again,” Smith concluded his apology video.
Unsurprisingly, Rock didn’t think much of this apology.
During a stand-up show on July 29th, the comedian addressed the apology and heavily implied that the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star was playing the victim card all along.
“Everybody is trying to be a f—king victim,” Rock asserted. “If everybody claims to be a victim, then nobody will hear the real victims.”
“Even me getting smacked by Suge Smith…I went to work the next day, I got kids,” the Spiral: From the Book of Saw star joked. “Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face.”
As of writing, Kravitz’s upcoming film has no confirmed release date.