Zoe Kravitz has become an instantly recognizable face as an actress over the years, following in her famous parent’s footsteps of being in the spotlight and commanding it. Given that even her birth caused controversy for her mother, it’s no wonder she’s unafraid to speak up about anything – including her racial identity.
Zoe’s parents are musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, famous for her role as Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show. Bill Cosby may not ever catch a break in the court of public opinion, thanks to some new revelations that Lenny Kravitz shared about his ex-wife’s time on the show – when she was pregnant with their daughter, Zöe Kravtiz.
In his new memoirs Let Love Rule, Lenny talks about the time during the show that Bonet got pregnant, which presented problems for her character on the show, Denise Huxtable. Cosby, though he’s in jail now, was famously conservative and had a very specific image of Black life that he wanted to portray on his show.
Kravitz recounted that when Bonet asked for a meeting with Cosby and Debbie Allen, Phylicia Rashad’s sister and producer on the show, Cosby told her, “You’re here to tell me you’re pregnant, aren’t you?” He also says that while Allen was fine with the proposition of Denise having a child and going off to raise it on her own, Cosby wasn’t in the end.
“Lisa Bonet is pregnant but Denise Huxtable is not,” Kravitz claimed he told the actress. “Denise” ended up taking a leave from the show, giving birth to now-actress Zöe. Of course, many will remember that after a few more seasons after her return, Bonet eventually left the show altogether, citing “creative differences.”
Famous children are often left to deal with the lives that their parents have chosen affecting their maturation, and Zoe seems to be keenly aware of this – much like many celebrity children who are able to maintain healthy lives despite their time in the spotlight.
On an episode of Red Table Talk, Willow Smith said that the shaming from her own people about her and her brother’s sense of self-expression were big contributors to stress as they grew up.
“Specifically, with the African-American community, I kind of felt like me and Jaden were like shunned a little bit,” she said. “Like, ‘No, we’re not going to take pride in them ’cause they’re too different. They’re too weird.’”
“Even some of our family members,” she added. “I would feel they thought, ‘You’re too different.’”
Kravitz’s story sounds similar, as she discussed race with Nylon magazine back in 2015.
As she got older and matured, her views changed, and she saw the richness she was leaving behind.
“Black culture is so much deeper than that but unfortunately that is what’s fed through the media. That’s what people see. That’s what I saw. But then I got older and listened to A Tribe Called Quest and watched films with Sidney Poitier and heard Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. I had to un-brainwash myself. It’s my mission, especially as an actress.”