Emma Watson accused of prioritising Instagram aesthetic over BLM post

‘I stand with you’: Emma Watson breaks her silence after being accused of prioritising her Instagram aesthetic over Black Lives Matter post due to putting a white border around it

  • The actress, 30, sparked backlash after not using her platform to provide information on how to support the Black Lives Matter movement
  • Emma posted three pictures of black squares with a white border around it
  • Social media had a 24-hour blackout on Tuesday to fight for equality after the senseless death of George Floyd 
  • But Emma’s followers accused the star of prioritising her Instagram aesthetic over the important message
  • She later shared an impassioned post on how she will use her platform to tackle ‘structural and institutional racism’
  • Emma has been a UN Women Goodwill ambassador since 2014
  • She has played in an active role in speaking out about gender equality and the need for women’s political participation

Emma Watson has broken her silence after she was accused of prioritising her Instagram aesthetic over a post showing support for the movement Black Lives Matter. 

The actress, 30, took to Instagram at midnight on Tuesday to tell her 57.2million followers ‘I stand with you’ as she shared an impassioned post about how she would use her platform to tackle ‘structural and institutional racism’. 

Earlier on Tuesday, Emma joined millions around the world by posting a black square, but sparked backlash by editing it to have a white border around it.

Backlash: Emma Watson has broken her silence after she was accused of prioritising her Instagram aesthetic over a post showing support for the movement Black Lives Matter

Social media entered a 24-hour blackout as people made their voices heard in the fight for equality after the senseless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25th.  

Emma went viral on Twitter, with those accusing her of uploading three black squares with the same border just to match her feed.

At midnight, however, Emma uploaded a piece of artwork by her friend Dr. Fahamu Pecou which was called White Lies, Subtleties, Micro-Aggressions, and Other Choking Hazards. 

Fury: The actress, 30, joined millions around the world by posting a black square, but sparked backlash by editing it to have a white border around it

The actress wrote: ‘I was holding off posting until #blackouttuesday ended in the UK,’ before sharing a poem written by Dr. Fahamu called Broken Open from Black Matter Lives.

Emma also uploaded her own words about the action she would be taking. ‘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 be anti-racist, we need to work harder externally to actively take 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.

Important: The actress, 30, took to Instagram at midnight on Tuesday to tell her 57.2million followers ‘I stand with you’ as she shared an impassioned post

Powerful: The actress wrote: ‘I was holding off posting until #blackouttuesday ended in the UK,’ before sharing a poem written by Dr. Fahamu called Broken Open from Black Matter Lives

‘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 would try to.’ 

Racial tensions and rioting have escalated across the United States since footage emerged of a handcuffed Floyd choking to death while being restrained by white police officer Derek Chauvin, who was filmed pinning the 46-year old to the ground by pressing a knee into the back of his neck. 

The post will be applauded by fans who hit out at Emma’s previous post because she didn’t attach information of how people could either donate, educate themselves, sign petitions or how they can help. 

One wrote: ‘Emma watson claims to be an activist but instead of posting links to petitions, donations and opening her purse she got 1 million likes on a pic of a black square with a white border around it to maintain her instagram aesthetic’.

Co-ordinated: Emma, who has 57.2million followers, went viral on Twitter, with those accusing her of uploading three black squares with the same border just to match her feed

Influential voice: Aside from her Hollywood acting role, Emma has been a vocal spearhead for activism and her charity work (pictured at the UN women launch of HeForShe in 2016)

Another added: ‘I’m genuinely surprised Emma Watson has been silent. Weren’t you the intersectional feminist? The UN ambassador? I’m so disappointed.’

A third chimed: ‘Emma Watson really posted three other blank black pics so it wouldn’t ruin her aesthetic’, while a fourth typed: ‘Emma Watson not saying anything for the whole week and then posting a black blank pic on Instagram that won’t help in anything is just the peak of white feminism.’

‘Emma Watson has 57.1M followers on Instagram, her first post about blm has over 1M likes and instead of sharing links to petitions and donations, she thought the best idea was sharing three black squares? Wtf is that, open your purse, SPREAD INFORMATION’, another Twitter user vented.  

Speak up! Her followers were annoyed she didn’t use attach information to the posts of how people could either donate, educate themselves or how they can help

However others defended the Harry Potter actress. 

One fan wrote: ‘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???.’

‘I clearly do not understand the younger generation. They are dragging #EmmaWatson or posting three black squares, but there are countless other celebs who have not done anything…Explanation? I’ll wait,’ typed another. 

A different fan tweeted:  Stop hating on Emma Watson for her latest posts on instagram like she has been an activist for all humans rights for the longest time now. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT DUMBA***S AND LEAVE HER ALONE.’     

Support: However others defended the Harry Potter actress, saying she has been an ‘activist for human rights for the longest time now’

Aside from her Hollywood acting role, Emma has been a vocal spearhead for activism and her charity work. 

In July 2014, the Beauty and the Beast was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill ambassador.

In September that year, Watson delivered an address at UN Headquarters in New York City to launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which calls for men to advocate for gender equality. 

Emma’s speech also called feminism ‘the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities’ and declared that the perception of ‘man-hating’ is something that ‘has to stop’. 

Also in September,  Emma made her first country visit as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador to Uruguay where she gave a speech highlighting the need for women’s political participation. 

Activist: In July 2014, the Beauty and the Beast was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill ambassador


United: Christine Lampard and ex The Apprentice star Luisa Zissman pledged their support to the Black Lives Matter movement


In memory: Heidi Klum and Naomi Campbell also uploaded the post as social media had a break for 24 hours after the senseless death of George Floyd

The day after Emma turned 25, the actress placed number 26 on the TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people, her first-ever appearance on the list.

The Black Lives Matters movement comes after the death of African-American George Floyd last week at the age of 46, who passed away after Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for several minutes before he died from asphyxiation.

A medical examiner’s office on Monday ruled Floyd’s death was a homicide as they appeared to walk back initial reports that he wasn’t strangled when a Minneapolis cop knelt on his neck during an arrest last week.

The medical examiner’s findings that the death was a homicide by asphyxiation confirmed the same conclusion of the independent autopsy that was also released on Monday, but there are key differences over the cause.

Chauvin, who is white and was fired from the Minneapolis police department over the incident, was hit with third-degree murder and manslaughter charges last week as protests over Floyd’s death roiled the nation.

Sparking outrage:  George Floyd died on May 25, after Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes while he cried out that he couldn’t breathe – his death catalyzed a week of nationwide protests

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