Emma Watson posted a message on her website yesterday explaining her absence from Brown:

Hi everyone

As you know, I love Brown and I love studying pretty much more than anything but recently I've had so much to juggle that being a student AND fulfilling my other commitments has become a little impossible.
I've decided to take a bit of time off to completely finish my work on Harry Potter (the last one comes out this summer) and to focus on my other professional and acting projects. I will still be working towards my degree... it’s just going to take me a semester or two longer than I thought : )
Hope you are all well! Thank you for all your continuing support.

Emma xx

What I like:

That she addressed this herself, that she and her people weren’t so stupid as to let the outside start questioning it, that she’s able to control the story from the beginning on her end.

What I believe:

There is indeed a lot of promotion that goes on with Harry Potter. For sure I know that Emma is expected at a junket and several promotional events for the DVD release of The Deathly Hallows Part 1 later this month and through much of April. That’s, like, right at the end of the semester. And that leads in directly to the start of press obligations for Part 2.

Why I worry (a little):

While I’m not crazy about the idea of cutting out of an entire block to promote a movie, I do get it about a decade-long contract and a commitment she made to the franchise. I suppose it’s defensible, if you have to. And, given that the series is about to come to a close, it’s also a finite amount of time remaining too – after this, it’s done, no more scholastic interruptions.

It’s the “other professional and acting projects” that bothers me. Why can’t they wait? Who is telling her that there’s such urgency? Who is telling her that it has to be NOW? This is where Natalie Portman really succeeded. She wasn’t pressured into staying. She wasn’t taken hostage by Hollywood the way so many of them are – they are trained to be afraid to leave, afraid to not be in the spotlight, afraid to not say yes to everything…

Portman went to university, she went to Israel, she gave herself the time. Emma was supposed to be giving herself the time. Right now it seems as though she feels like there may be an opportunity that can’t wait for her to take her time. All of a sudden, Harvey Weinstein’s big head floats to the surface.

Bitch, are you telling this girl she needs to hurry?

It’s speculative, sure. But he can’t be the only one. Remember, they all want to make money. And they all want the money now. These f-ckers don’t want to wait ‘til a girl gets her degree before cashing in on her. You understand the business of it, don’t you?

This is why I worry (a little). But not that much. Emma, as we know, is cut from something different. She was not raised in Los Angeles. She hasn’t been surrounded by Los Angeles. And as such, I still believe her decision-making abilities are far superior than, say, the dumb twats who grew up here.

As for that rumour…

Have you heard the rumour?

That the reason she’s breaking from school temporarily is that she’s now topping the list of Katniss contenders? This is the rumour that originated yesterday after Emma’s announcement. There is NO basis to it. Came out of nowhere, isn’t credible, and considering that Emma is inextricably linked, like forever, with Hermione Granger, it also seems really, really, really ridiculous. To underscore the point, following my exclusives last week about Jennifer Lawrence and Saoirse Ronan, Lionsgate tried to rein in the story and told EW.com that 30 actresses are being considered and that they haven’t narrowed anything down just yet. Emma Watson was NOT on that list. Again, as I told you last week, as of last week, it was between JL and SR, unless someone came in off the street and punched them in the face with her raw talent. Will keep you posted if anything changes. I haven’t heard anything since last Thursday.

Attached – Emma’s current ads for People Tree.

Photos from People Tree/Splashnewsonline.com