The recent HBO Max Harry Potter reunion special did its best to pretend that J.K. Rowling isn’t an elephant in the room. That is to say, the author of the book saga (and who has had her fingers all up in the adaptations therein) periodically issues her controversial remarks about trans people. This practice has led to a multitude of public rifts, including when Rowling deleted praise for Stephen King after he tweeted, “Trans women are women.” In addition, actors who have appeared in Rowling adaptations (Potter star Daniel Radcliffe and Fantastic Beasts actor Eddie Redmayne) have defended those targeted by the author. As well, Emma Watson, who famously played Hermione Granger, followed suit with a statement of support for trans people.
Fast forward a few years, and Emma presented (over the weekend) at the BAFTAs, where (via a video clip posted by The Independent), Rebel Wilson welcomed Watson to the stage while alluding to Harry Potter and declaring, “She calls herself a feminist, but we all know she’s a witch.”
Watson stepped up to the mic and began like this: “I’m here for all the witches.”
I love the shade Emma Watson just threw at JK Rowling at the BAFTAs. She said, "I'm here for ALL of the witches, bar one." Emma is a QUEEN. pic.twitter.com/3jXEDVpzHQ
— Alejandra Caraballo 🏳️⚧️🇵🇷 (@Esqueer_) March 14, 2022
Naturally, this sentence is causing a stir on social media with some people celebrating Watson’s remarks and others complaining about too much wokeness. That’s to be expected, and Emma did not follow up on her remarks. She has, however, recently owned up to her own blindspots in supporting marginalized communities. In 2020, Emma also 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
Emma later 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.”
To that end, Emma didn’t directly mention J.K.’s attacks on the trans community, but this appears to be a reference and another distancing from the author. There’s been no response or acknowledgement (of this moment) from Rowling’s camp thus far.