At the 2022 BAFTA Awards on Sunday, Emma Watson made it clear — she’s going to shout-out all the witches out there! When the 31-year-old actress was brought to the stage by host Rebel Wilson to present, Rebel said, “She calls herself a feminist, but we all know she’s a witch.” Emma then promptly responded, per The Independent, “I’m here for all the witches!”
Although The Bling Ring actress didn’t share context for her remark, many took it to be subtle shade toward Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who faced significant backlash in June 2020 for a series of controversial tweets that have been blasted as “anti-trans.”
Emma first made her stance known in the summer 2020 when she tweeted her opinions on the matter after the 56-year-old author shared her beliefs. “Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are,” Emma tweeted on June 10.
She added, “I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are.” The British actress, who played Hermione in all the Harry Potter movies, said she was donating to the charities Mama Cash and Mermaids, before concluding her message with, “Happy #PRIDE2020 Sending love x.”
This 2020 incident wasn’t the first time J.K. was accused of transphobia but she came under fire on June 6, 2020 when she replied to a Devex news story titled, “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.” Periods aren’t exclusive to women; transgender men, including people who identify as genderqueer and nonbinary, can also menstruate. Regardless, J.K. responded, “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” Of course, she meant to imply “women.”
Following J.K.’s statement, Warner Bros., the studio that produced the Harry Potter films, also responded with a statement. “The events in the last several weeks have firmed our resolve as a company to confront difficult societal issues,” the studio said to Variety. “Warner Bros.’ position on inclusiveness is well established, and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture has never been more important to our company and to our audiences around the world. We deeply value the work of our storytellers who give so much of themselves in sharing their creations with us all. We recognize our responsibility to foster empathy and advocate understanding of all communities and all people, particularly those we work with and those we reach through our content,” they also said.