Emma Watson will not stand for racial injustice, and she made that very clear with her Instagram post on June 3. The actress’s message was inspired by the latest death of a black man, George Floyd, by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, which sparked a widespread conversation about racism in the United States. “I stand with you,” Emma told the black community in her post.
“There is so much racism, both in our past and present, that is not acknowledged nor accounted for,” Emma wrote. “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.” She added, “We need to work harder externally to actively tackle the structural and institutional racism around us. I’m sill learning about the many ways I unconsciously support and uphold a system that is structurally racist.”
Emma concluded her message by sharing that she’ll be using her social media platforms in the coming days to share links to resources that she’s found useful in researching and educating herself. This post came one day after Blackout Tuesday, which was a day for pausing promotional content on social media in order to use the platform to share knowledge and information about racial injustice instead. Instagram users acknowledged the movement by sharing a blank, black square to their pages.
However, Emma received backlash for the way she honored Blackout Tuesday. Rather than just posting one black square, she posted three, and they each had a white border around them, like all of her other Instagram posts. People accused Emma of trying to fit her Blackout Tuesday posts to her “Instagram aesthetic,” rather than actually fighting for the cause. One person on Twitter called Emma’s Blackout Tuesday post the “worst” one they saw.
Many other fans jumped to Emma’s defense, though, and pointed out that Emma has been an ally to the black community for years. “Emma Watson has dedicated her ENTIRE CAREER to support feminism and end racism & twitter things it’s ok o cancel her because she didn’t fake temp activism like other celebs,” someone wrote. Another fan added, “Why hate on Emma Watson, an ally of the black community that has been speaking about racism, intersectional feminism and white privilege before all of these celebrities who just do it for the clout?” Emma did not directly respond to any of the messages about her Blackout Tuesday posts.