Harry Potter star Emma Watson accused of ‘performative activism’ over contribution to #BlackLivesMatter movement

The West Australian
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Emma Watson has been accused of favouring aesthetic over action amid a wave of #BlackLivesMatter posts on social media in the wake of George Floyd’s police killing in the US.

The Harry Potter star joined the hundreds of celebrities who have posted black squares to their social media as a sign of solidarity, joining the #BlackoutTuesday movement that is muting commercial content online as a way to amplify black voices and the BLM movement.

But Watson — along with many who have chosen to join the #BlackOutTuesday movement— has now been accused of performative activism, as her posts were edited so they fit in with the “aesthetic” of her social media grid.

Fans are calling out the Little Woman actress for putting a white border around her black square post so it still looked good online, as it goes against the purpose of #BlackOutTuesday, which is to stop self-promotion for a day so that black voices and information on the Black Lives Matter movement can come to the front of the conversation.

But other fans are accusing people of cancelling and “dragging an ally”, pointing out Watson’s history of activism and her posts she made this morning.

Watson has since come forward this morning to share a statement on her take on the Black Lives Matter movement.

“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,” her post began.

“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.

“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 and listening... I see your anger, sadness and pain.

“I cannot know what this feels like for you, but it doesn't mean I wont try to.”

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