It was about a year ago that the Daily Mail reported that Emma Watson was retiring from acting. It was a big story at the time and then it wasn’t because it turns out that it wasn’t true. Not really all that surprising considering the source. 


Emma presented at the BAFTAs last night and her off-the-cuff response to host Rebel Wilson’s intro is now making headlines: 

Some are interpreting this to be Emma throwing shade at JK Rowling. If it was indeed intended to be shady, then I think this passes the shade test, as determined by the incomparable Kara Brown during her Shade Court days at Jezebel. Shade isn’t an overt insult. Shade always leaves room for doubt. Did they just…? Were they trying to…? True shade doesn’t reveal itself immediately. True shade never compromises the shader. In Emma’s case here, sure, she could have been, as a member of the Harry Potter Universe, calling out its creator JK Rowling’s terrible and terribly persistent transphobia. 


I should mention here that I have also been transphobic in the past, both in my personal life and on this site. I have mocked and diminished the trans experience and have caused harm to the community. I will continue to apologise for this and I hope to continue learning from the criticism that has resulted. Which is not JK Rowling’s approach. She has continued to otherise trans people – and Emma’s comment last night was the opposite. Because the shade, perceived or otherwise, is secondary to her actual message of inclusion: she’s here for ALL the witches. There should be nothing controversial about that at all.

You know what I do find offensive though? The criticism being directed at Emma by those who perceived her remark was about JK Rowling and dragging her because supposedly “she would be nothing without Jo”. Like it means that she’s some kind of ingrate. Which is bullsh-t. 


Emma’s doing exactly what she should be doing with her platform: making space for everyone. As for that platform, she’s been pretty quiet the last few years and hasn’t worked on a project since Little Women in 2018/19. I wonder if this BAFTAs appearance signals a comeback.

And the outfits? The dress with the white flouncy skirt at the BAFTAs is fine but I prefer what she changed into for the after-party: a black suit, lace top underneath, and combat boots.