Evan Rachel Wood Returns to Instagram in Wake of Kobe Bryant Remark Backlash

Evan Rachel Wood returned to Instagram on Saturday, but only her followers can see her latest post. Wood has been largely absent from social media since her controversial remarks about Kobe Bryant went viral last month. Now, her Instagram page is private, but not out of use.

Wood shared the latest teaser for Westworld on Wednesday morning, a few days after it went up online. It consists of a simple poster with very basic animations, making a sandstorm blink in and out of focus in the frame.

The poster shows a robot body on its knees in the sand, hunched over in the foreground with a cityscape behind it. Bugs appear to be climbing around one of the robot's thighs, and the show's title and premiere date are stamped across the bottom of the screen.

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FREE WILL IS NOT FREE #Westworld | 3.15 | @HBO

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The top of the poster reads: "FREE WILL IS NOT FREE." The official Westworld account used this as the caption for the post, and so did Wood on Saturday.

However, Only Wood's followers got to see her new post, as her account is now set to private. Admittedly, that includes more than 669,000 individuals, but Wood has reason to protect her posts from the outside world.

Last month, the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant shocked the worlds of sports and entertainment, with many reflecting on Bryant's pop cultural legacy. Few brought up Bryant's sexual assault allegation from 2003, but Wood was one of the people that did.

"I am heartbroken for Kobe's family," Wood wrote on Twitter at the time. "He was a sports hero. He was also a rapist. And all of these truths can exist simultaneously."

Wood was widely condemned for this tweet, as many felt it was not the time for such commentary. Bryant had settled his case years before his death, and had publicly acknowledged his mistakes. He had even opened up about it as a humbling, learning experience, so to many there was nothing left to persecute him for.

In addition, many people argued that Wood's post betrayed some subtle racist tendencies, as users argued Bryant was a hero specifically for African-American kids. To demean his stature on the day of his death did harm to those kids, it was argued, without doing anything for the victims of sexual assault out there.

This point is still being debated to this day, though Wood has stepped away from it publicly. She deleted her tweet, and both her Twitter and her Instagram accounts are now private.


The controversy doesn't seem to have done anything to quiet the excitement for Westworld Season 3. The sci-fi drama returns on Sunday, March 15 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.