Emma Watson is making amends after her arguably shallow show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement didn’t go over well with fans.
ICYMI, the Harry Potter star was one of the many celebrities and public figures who took part in #BlackoutTuesday, a social media initiative started as a way to show solidarity for the cause. However, many slammed the actress’ participation as performative activism and criticized her decision to speak out against racial injustices after being silent on the issue for so long.
The idea was to post a plain black box captioned with the specific hashtag as well as share helpful resources to support BLM protestors fighting for justice for George Floyd. Several fans didn’t like that Emma only had enough energy for the first part of that request and that she also edited the black box with a white border to match her Instagram feed’s aesthetic. There’s been a lot of confusion online about whether the blackout was a good idea to begin with, but we can safely say inserting your own flare on something that’s not supposed to be about you absolutely misses the point.
After some heavy reflection (and most likely a call from her PR team), Watson returned to the platform with a deeper message, which began:
“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.”
The 32-year-old continued:
“Whilst we might feel that, as individuals, we’re working hard internally to actively tackle the structural and institutional racism around us. I’m still learning about the many ways I unconsciously support and uphold a system that is structurally racist.”
She then clarified the tangible ways she’ll be using her massive platform to influence positive changes:
“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.”
Wow. That’s quite a statement right there!
As we mentioned earlier, many thought Emma could’ve done better with her approach to the subject, but there were also quite a few people who brought up the star’s past support for anti-racism activism in her defense. It sounds like she heard both sides and decided to step it up, which is a vital part of what it means to be an ally. Now if she could screenshot proof of a sizeable donation to the countless organizations in need of help, she’d REALLY be in good shape in the court of public opinion.
In addition to this message, on Wednesday, she also shared artwork and poem by Dr. Fahamu Pecou titled, White Lies, Subtleties, Micro-Aggressions, and Other Choking Hazards, and explained she “was holding off posting until #blackouttuesday ended in the UK.” See both of her posts (below):
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I was holding off posting until #blackouttuesday ended in the UK. The Artwork of my brilliant dear friend @fahamupecou “White Lies, Subtleties, Micro-Aggressions, and Other Choking Hazards” B R O K E N O P E N (poem + text from the series BLACK MATTER LIVES) by Dr Fahamu Pecou broken broke and hoping broke in, hoping broke. end. hoping… bro! kin hopin’! broken… hopin. broken. open. broken open! (Break) “We can not be broken. We do not break. For too long we’ve been afraid that their violence would end us. But we are still here. Some they took, but they’ve all come back. They never truly left. We never truly leave. Like the police and other systems they’ve weaponized against us, the names of those they tried to silence go off in their ears like nuclear bombs. Names that swell in their throats and linger until they can no longer breathe. So let us haunt their dreams and their waking moments alike. Say their names: Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Let them see us. Let them hear us. No friends, we have nothing to fear. An army of Egungun warriors walk amongst us. They have tried, and for centuries they have failed to violate us… to silence us. This is not breaking. This is opening. The cracks are windows. The holes are doors. Shine your light through.” – Dr. Fahamu Pecou Say their names #AhmaudArbery #BreonnaTaylor #GeorgeFloyd
As you’re likely aware, the public’s patience for celebrities to speak out on these injustices has long worn out and while this isn’t as brazen as telling All Lives Matter supporters to f**k off (we love you, Seth Rogen), it does show Emma is at least learning she has more work to do with her privilege! Again, just keep that same energy going offline with your friends, family, and coworkers, too.
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