Emma Watson says she ‘needs to work harder’ following Blackout Tuesday backlash

Adam White
British actress Emma Watson is among the celebrities helping The Independent and Evening Standard to feed those who most need it: Getty

Emma Watson has said that she and other white people “need to work harder to tackle racism”, following backlash to her participation in the Blackout Tuesday protests.

The Little Women actor was criticised after posting a black square to her Instagram. The trend, originally designed to amplify black voices, split opinion, with some critics claiming that important hashtags, including #BlackLivesMatter, were being dominated by images of black boxes rather than important and relevant information.

“Yes queen give us nothing,” wrote one follower, while others urged Watson to donate money and share links instead of a black box. “Girl I know that Little Women cheque hit,” wrote another. “Open your purse.”

Watson’s followers also noticed that she had placed a white border around her black square, replicating her normal Instagram aesthetic. “Black Lives Matter is not an aesthetic for your instagram,” wrote one person.

Four hours after her initial black box post, Watson shared links to resources and charities and a poem and artwork by scholar Dr Fahamu Pecou⁣, writing that she had deliberately “held off posting until #blackouttuesday ended in the UK”.

Across social media, stars have been criticised for their responses to the wave of protest against police brutality and institutional racism in recent days.

Ellen DeGeneres deleted a tweet condemned for being “vague and saying nothing”. Lana Del Rey was also urged to take down a video posted to her social media which showed the faces of protesters.

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Emma Watson