Zoe Kravitz Wishes She Handled Her Reaction to Will Smith’s Oscar Slap Differently

Zoë Kravitz has regrets about how she publicly addressed “the slap heard around the world”—that is, the moment when Will Smith infamously slapped Chris Rock on stage at the 2022 Oscars.

In a recent interview with WSJ Magazine, the actress shared that she wished she had handled her response to the moment differently, referring to Instagram posts she shared following the March 27 incident.

Though The Batman actress didn’t name names in the now-deleted posts, she hardly needed to: the captions were a clear reference to the slap, which occurred when Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife and King Richard star Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith first shouted at Rock from the crowd before confronting the comedian on stage.

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Following the incident, Kravitz shared a photo of herself on the red carpet, captioned: “Here’s a picture of my dress at the award show where we are apparently assaulting people on stage now.” The Big Little Lies actress then shared a pic from the event’s afterparty alongside a caption that read, “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.”

But upon reflection, Kravitz said that she would address the incident differently if given the chance for a do-over. “I wish I had handled that differently,” she said, while admitting that she still has complicated feelings about the situation. “And that’s OK.”

Kravitz On Controversial Art: “It’s About Conversation”

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Although Kravitz pulled the posts following criticism from Smith’s fans, the actress said that she doesn’t necessarily feel a need to make “universally supported” comments.

While Kravitz acknowledges that it can be a “a scary time to have an opinion or say the wrong thing or to make controversial art or statements or thoughts or anything,” she isn’t deterred and maintains that the point of art is causing conversation.

“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 told the publication. “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.”