In a remark that was interpreted by various British outlets as a swipe at famed author J.K. Rowling, whose Harry Potter books prompted the films that made her famous, actress Emma Watson took the stage at the BAFTA awards on Sunday and proclaimed, “I’m here for all the witches.”
Watson was presenting the award for Best Outstanding British Film when she was prompted by host Rebel Wilson, who stated, “Here to present the next award is Emma Watson. She calls herself a feminist, but we all know she’s a witch.”
Wilson herself took a shot at Rowling, who has taken strong stands vis-à-vis the transgender movement; commenting on a photo shown on screen of her at the 2020 ceremony, Wilson sniped, “That was me two years ago and since then I’ve done quite a transformation – I hope J.K. Rowling still approves.”
Many social media users called Watson a “woke brat,” with some slamming her for being ungrateful toward Rowling.
In 2017, “non-binary” Orange is the New Black actress Asia Kate Dillon presented Watson the first “genderless” MTV award. Watson then gave this speech:
The first acting award in history that doesn’t separate nominees based on their sex says something about how we perceive the human experience. MTV’s move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone, but, to me, it indicates that acting is about the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and that doesn’t need to be separated into two, different categories… Empathy and the ability to use your imagination should have no limits.
After Rowling argued in 2020 that transgender ideology “erased” the “lived reality” of women, Watson tweeted, “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.”
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 Watson (@EmmaWatson) June 10, 2020
Rowling had stated, “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth. … The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense.”
In 2017, after posing for a photo for Vanity Fair in which she wore a white crocheted jacket with no shirt or bra, exposing the bottom of her breasts, Watson reacted to criticism by insisting, “It just always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is of what feminism is. Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it. It’s very confusing. … I’m confused. Most people are confused… I’m always just kind of quietly stunned.”
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