It is day three of the Oscars fallout and Zoë Kravitz is the latest celebrity to fall from the public’s graces—relinquishing her title as the internet’s It girl of the month to “Bridgerton’s” Simone Ashley.
At first scroll, it would seem that Kravitz is getting heat for inexplicitly criticizing Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock. However, the alleged offense is much worse. Previous statements from Kravitz about her attraction to an underage Jaden Smith, Will’s son, are resurfacing on social media, prompting accusations that she was grooming him.
But let’s backtrack to the reason why the statements were unearthed. Kravitz published two Instagram posts today, March 30, alluding to the Oscars incident. “Here’s a picture of my dress at the award show where we are apparently assaulting people on stage now,” she wrote. In a follow-up post, she said, “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.”
The internet continues to be divided on the subject that has led to conversations on topics like “weaponized white womanhood.” While everyone is basically free to partake in the discourse, some netizens felt it necessary to point out Kravitz’s history with the Smith family, including the time she spent with a teenage Jaden.
An excerpt from a May 2013 feature on V magazine of a then-24-year-old Kravitz has been making the rounds on Twitter. She divulged that she was attracted to her “After Earth” co-star Jaden Smith, who was 14 at the time. “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.”
Kravitz’s interview with Extra during the 2014 premiere of “Divergent” where she invited Smith to be her “date” also came up. In the clip, the interviewer asks him to admire her outfit, after which she calls him the love of her life. The two didn’t reportedly date, though the teen celeb who Kravitz did go out with was her then-18-year-old “Beware the Gonzo” co-star Ezra Miller in 2010.
While there may be people who would argue that Kravitz’s actions don’t constitute grooming, there is a power imbalance in a relationship—platonic or not—between an adult and a teenager, making the younger person more vulnerable to being manipulated. Given these dynamics, we can all agree that it’s wrong to egg on adults to have suspiciously close friendships or relationships with teenagers. Looking at the bigger picture, not condoning grooming and predatory behavior is necessary in protecting young people from abuse.
At this point, I think we’ve all had enough of this Oscars season.