Emma Watson has spoken out after receiving backlash on social media for her Black Out Tuesday posts.
Watson took to Instagram early Wednesday in the United Kingdom, explaining “I was holding off posting until #blackouttuesday ended in the UK.”
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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
Shortly after sharing the artwork, Watson posted the following statement to her Instagram: “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 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 continues.
“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,” she concludes. “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.”
On Tuesday, Watson had joined the social media initiative #BlackOutTuesday, created in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, by sharing three black squares in three different posts, each with the following hashtags: #BlackOutTuesday #TheShowMustBePaused #AmplifyMelanatedVoices #AmplifyBlackVoices.
Following her posts, many called Watson out for adding a white border to her solid black images. Some fans claimed that the posts came across as though she cared more about her Instagram feed’s aesthetic rather than supporting Black lives.
Watson regularly uses her huge social media following as a tool in her fight in ending social injustices, including her involvement with the HeForShe campaign, becoming a UN Goodwill Ambassador in 2014, founding the book club Our Shared Shelf in 2016 and more.
Twitter erupted with reaction to the actress’ posts, with some “disappointed” fans and some coming to Watson’s defense.
I'm sorry, I know some ppl are disappointed at Emma Watson and yes me too. But we don't know if she has donated hundreds of her dollars for this. I'm disappointed too but what is I'm trying to say is saying bad things about her also isn't right is it?
— Hanum kurnia (@Hanumkurnia8) June 2, 2020
emma watson, a human rights activist, posting a black square on instagram rather than posting links to petitions and donation pages. she would have been better off staying quiet pic.twitter.com/C49iKNooQW
— jessie (@grangerslight) June 2, 2020
emma watson taking time out of her day to edit a black square so that it fits her instagram feed at age THIRTY but not posting a single link to donate/sign petitions just isn't sitting right
— alex (@billyselliot) June 2, 2020
no one has to to publicly announce their support. It is not an obligation. She could've decided to say something about her support now but that doesn't mean she wasn't supportive before. Again, it is NOT an obligation to publicize her support for this cause.
— ⟭⟬ 𖧵 michelle⁷ 𖧵 ⟭⟬ | Black Lives Matter! (@PlaceSeoul) June 2, 2020
We don’t know what she’s doing behind the scenes, if she donated money 💰 or planning something 🤔
— OfficialRadish! (@motorcross8) June 2, 2020
not Emma Watson trying to maintain her insta aesthetic and being a pretentious blm supporter?? hermione granger would've bully tf outta her for this pic.twitter.com/eSUTlOh5tx
— nayeon lyricist (@nayeonsadyke) June 2, 2020
the fact that emma watson didn't say a single word about blm til now and today she's posting three black squares with white borders to maintain her aesthetic…and she calls herself an activist. that's enough activism for today for her i guess
— rafia |BLM (@repromantics) June 2, 2020
Emma Watson has been speaking up about racism since 2015 but y'all want to cancel her because she posted 6 posts in order to amplify a movement. Don't talk about aesthetic when your fav never address issues on their Instagram. Emma's whole feed is giving voice to minorities. pic.twitter.com/yEdHlgpcZg
— green (@__LearnWithMe) June 2, 2020
I clearly do not understand the younger generation. They are dragging #EmmaWatson for posting three black squares, but there are countless other celebs who have not done anything and only @donlemon is calling them out in the most public of ways. Explanation? I'll wait. pic.twitter.com/kSLyspPW6E
— CJohnston (@🏡) (@Marketer79) June 2, 2020
Are you guys serious?? Have you ever fact checked what your are saying about her??? She has stood up against racism many times but you’re just ignore that because you think it’s a better idea to follow suit of everyone else who probably ALSO didn’t fact check???#EmmaWatson
— Søphia (@sophiatheninja) June 2, 2020
Why is everyone mad at Emma Watson and not every other celebrity who posted the same thing? Shut up y’all are so annoying
— Noor (@nkok21) June 2, 2020