Emma Watson responds to criticism for her support of George Floyd

Phoebe Southworth
Emma Watson - PA

Emma Watson has responded to criticism over her show of support for George Floyd, after she was accused of caring more about the aesthetics of her social media profile than the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Harry Potter actress posted pictures of three black squares on her Instagram page on Tuesday as part of an online protest against the father's death at the hands of a white police officer on May 25.

However, the 30-year-old was criticised for including a white border around the squares, prompting accusations from social media users that she was prioritising the look of her page, in which she often uses white borders, rather than showing true solidarity with the cause.

Mr Floyd died in the US after he was pinned to the floor by a police officer who had his knee on his neck for almost nine minutes, sparking mass protests across the country. The officer has been charged with his murder.

Watson has now responded to the backlash, insisting that she is always keen to learn more about the ways she "unconsciously supports and upholds a system that is structurally racist".

She told her fans on her social media page: "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 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. I see your anger, sadness and pain. I cannot know what this feels like for you but it doesn't mean I won't try to."

A representative for Watson said she had already made the decision to publish these thoughts and they were not a response to backlash on social media.

Fans of Watson also defended her against the criticism, highlighting that she was a committed supporter of human rights and had been "uplifting black voices" and speaking up against racism for years.