Emma Waston has long-since been known and respected for her acting skills in addition to her activism. But, recently, the latter came into question because of some Instagram posts that she posted during Blackout Tuesday. In participation of Blackout Tuesday, the 30-year-old chose to post three black squares on her Instagram feed along with the hashtags Blackout Tuesday, The Show Must be Paused, Amplify Black Voices, and Amplify Melenated Voices. But, many people felt that Watson’s Instagram posts were tone-deaf.
Because Watson had not posted anything on social media in response to the recent displays of murder and police brutality against Black bodies prior to Blackout Tuesday, many people saw fit to criticize her. The Harry Potter alum was accused of performative activism and not utilizing her immense platform properly. Furthermore, many people were outraged that she cropped her Instagram posts with a white background to fit her aesthetic.
Emma Watson speaks out following Blackout Tuesday backlash
Shortly after receiving backlash on Twitter, Watson took to her Instagram page to post more about racism. Citing that she was holding off on posting until Blackout Tuesday was over in the U.K., the Harry Potter star shared some beautiful artwork from a friend alongside poetry and text that is in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. In the post, Watson also hashtagged three Black Americans who’d recently been killed by police and urged people to say their names.
Watson also followed up the first Instagram post with another that was an open letter to her millions of fans. “There is so much racism, both in our past and present, that is not acknowledged nor accounted for. White supremacy is one of the systems of hierarchy and dominance, of exploitation and oppression, that is tightly stitched into society. As a white person, I have benefited from this. Whilst we might feel that, as individuals, we’re working hard internally to be anti-racist, we need to work harder externally to actively tackle the structural and institutional racism around us,” the Little Women star began.
The ‘Little Women’ star commits to sharing resources on Twitter and Instagram
Watson continued on to share that she was still learning about how to combat systemic racism and committed to providing resources to her fans that she’s previously found helpful. “I’m still learning about the many ways I unconsciously support and uphold a system that is structurally racist. Over the coming days, I’ll be using my bio link and Twitter to share links to resources I’ve found useful for my own researching, learning, listening. I see your anger, sadness and pain. I cannot know what this feels like for you but it doesn’t mean I won’t try to,” the actress concluded.
Fans throw their support behind the movie star
Following Watson’s post, many fans condemned critics for ever doubting the sincerity of her activism. “Y’all really need to educate yourselves. Emma has ALWAYS used her platform to uplift African Americans and minorities. She has been all over the world spreading awareness, can any other celeb say that they have? Emma has been doing this before it was a ‘trend,’” one person declared on Twitter.
Some critics are still unimpressed by Watson’s response
But, some critics felt that Watson’s additional Instagram posts still weren’t enough. They felt that Watson waiting until Blackout Tuesday was over to speak out was a hollow excuse. “It’s funny that she was waiting for Blackout Tuesday to end when she’s literally had a week to say something. Girl bye,” one person declared on Instagram.
Others contrasted Watson’s current actions with the alleged actions of her past. “Compare this to her response to the Women’s March – not only did she post plenty of support on her social media, she literally hired a professional photographer to follow her around taking pictures of her attending that march. But, when its Black people marching for their lives… its crickets for 6 days… then a black square and some hashtags,” another person declared after seeing Watson’s additional Instagram posts.
The double-edged sword of fame
Clearly, people are still divided about Watson’s recent Instagram posts, which is to be expected with an issue this complex. As one of the most recognized and celebrated celebrities in the world, Watson is likely to face backlash no matter what decisions she makes. We hope she continues to use her immense platform to speak on the issues that matter most.