Emma Watson Responds to Controversy Over Vanity Fair Photoshoot

Emma Watson Vanity Fair
Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock

Emma Watson was more “quietly stunned” than bothered over critics that accused her of going against her feminist values for posing with her breasts partially exposed in her cover shoot for Vanity Fair.

In an interview with Reuters, Watson, a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and the pioneer behind the #HeForShe campaign, responded to the controversy by clarifying the definition of feminism to critics.

“It just always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is about what feminism is,” she said. “Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my t—s have to do with it.”



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She continued, “I’m confused. Most people are confused. No, I’m just always just quietly stunned.”

Once the photos were released, some social media users and publications accused Watson of being a hypocrite. Radio host Julia-Hartley-Brewer tweeted, “Emma Watson: ‘Feminism, feminism… gender wage gap… why oh why am I not taken seriously… feminism… oh, and here are my t–s!’ “

In one of the photos, shot by Tim Walker, Watson is shown topless, with a white shawl covering some of her chest. Watson added that she remains “so thrilled about how interesting and beautiful the photographs were.” “We’d been doing so many crazy things on that shoot, but it felt incredibly artistic,” she said.

Watson is currently promoting her new movie, “Beauty and the Beast,” in which she plays Belle. In his review for Variety, Owen Gleiberman said the live-action Disney reboot is “a sometimes entrancing, sometimes awkward mixture of re-creation and reimagining,” but praised Watson as “a pitch-perfect Belle.”

“Beauty and the Beast” hits theaters on March 17.

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  1. eva says:

    This such BS One of the things so important is to love our body and breasts are wonderful and it is the uninclusive “feminist” telling us how to be. . . They are beautiful photos and even if they weren’t who the fk has a right to decide it is not feminist enough? Talk about hypocrites. . .

  2. George says:

    I’ve seen the sex tape. I seen all the other crap. I state right here that I think Emma is a Goddess on Earth to place joy in Men’s troubles hearts !!

  3. They are beautiful photos, tasteful and artistic. Nothing like the sleaze other celebs put out. EW is beautiful, intelligent, educated, and doing important work on a global level. Nothing like that awful KK.

    • Ken says:

      What “important work on a global level” would that be ? To do a stupid speech at some charity every year ? That’s ridiculous & only serves herself. It’s free publicity that her PR guys don’t need to buy.
      It has the same function as showing some skin: To get better PR and attention.

  4. GG says:

    Why is the word “tits” censored on the article. So American. And makes the article even more ridiculous.

  5. docandraider says:

    If it werent for the obvious PR that it became, I’d probably not even care. However, if indeed we’re all saying that every pop tart actress out there has to show cleavage (either up, down, or side) in order to get noticed, perhaps it’s time for the guys to hit the red carpet in a waistjacket, boots, and a pouch that only barely covers the last half of his penis. After all, folks, equality, right?

    Oh. Wait. If a guy were to actually to actually do that, there would be (1) outrage and (2) sudden claims that “he has to be gay!”

    You Americans are so weird sometimes…

  6. Gabriel says:

    OMG. What is the big deal here? She can be a feminist AND show some cleavage if she wants to. People need to grow up and quit being bothered by this. If this country can elect to be our President an idiot businessman without any political experience who was recorded for television saying he is allowed to ‘grab women by the pussy because he’s famous,’ then people can’t get all worked up over an actress baring part of her body. You can see just as much of a woman on any beach. Calm down, people.

    • Charlotte says:

      Gabriel wrote about Donald Trump: “…who was recorded for television saying he is allowed to ‘grab women by the pussy because he’s famous,’…” This is FALSE. Trump clearly said in the original recording, that “they LET YOU DO IT”, right? That’s a big difference. Trump never talked about forcing anyone to do anything. He talked about celebrity-obsessed females, who would do anything if they meet a celebrity. The Democrats, the Libs and leftist media totally twisted Trump’s words, which were private & not meant for the public anyway.

      • Practical Voice in the Hollywood Wilderness says:

        So you’ve blamed women, good job. Just like him, you’ve deflected blame to “celebrity-obsessed females” and the “leftist media.” Pathetic.

        If you can read the below and think “This is a good guy,” then you are a disturbed, ignorant person…

        “I’ve gotta use some tic tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump says….“And when you’re a star they let you do it,” Trump says….“Grab them by the pussy,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”

  7. Joe says:

    Emma Watson: “We’d been doing so many crazy things on that shoot, but it felt incredibly artistic…”
    I’m glad to hear that, Emma ! I would love to see some more ‘artistic’ shoots by you ! Could you, please. spread your legs in your next one? Then I’ll listen to your thoughts about feminism, too. Promise !

  8. Julian Lean says:

    The flack she’s catching is why a lot of men aren’t behind her #HeforShe campaign. She’s so naive at what’s really going that her lecturing folks on feminism comes across as seriously out of touch the last few years. Very few people are against women being the equal of men (in opportunity, pay for the same work, etc) but Emma, welcome to 3rd wave intersectional feminism and maybe you understand why so many men are #NotForThat :). Hopefully she’ll have some luck bring some sanity back into the conversation.

  9. Liza says:

    No problem with EW baring her breasts, don’t understand why she made the choice, but it’s her choice to make.

    My problem is with the hypocrisy. In England, the so-called Page Three women were hounded off the papers because their topless photos were demeaning and sexist, but when EW does it she’s stunning and courageous. Of course, she’s an “actress” whereas the Page Three women were just trying to make a little money and maybe get some more jobs. . .and they didn’t go to Brown and Oxford.

  10. facts! says:

    I’m a woman, and have to say that if women choose to go topless cause it’s a “right,” then they’ll be in for trouble. The “Free The Nipple” movement is sanctimonious and ridiculous, invented by privileged, white, young females as an excuse to parade around for a “cause.”

    If you’re really feminists, grrls, go help a single woman of color in East L.A. juggle three jobs and perhaps some children. Help her get an education. Help her start a business. Give her money for bus fare, as she probably came over the border, and has struggled all her life. Unlike you. And please don’t deny men’s biological imperatives, nor the media’s history of objectifying women just cause you feel like taking your top off whenever the f***k you feel like it.

    Emma Watson, it’s fine if you want to take your shirt off, but don’t then cry foul if you get bitch-slapped for it.

  11. Where says:

    It’s not OK to show a little cleavage but it’s OK to wear a full vagina hat or suit??

  12. Dugan says:

    Just take a look at those “lesson givers” and you’ll understand right away what their problem is : they’re jealous, frustrated and livid with envy.
    And by the way where are they when the discussions get to women’s fate in countries like Saudi Arabia ?

  13. Ellie says:

    Not surprising that many feminists will have problems with this. Many feminists are butchy females who are jealous of and angry with people of more power, who tend to be (1) “relatively better looking” non-butchy females and (2) a number of males greater than their numbers. But not only do they fail to realize their jealousies (or just don’t want to admit them), just as many males are in the same predicament as feminists, and feel just as marginalized and angry, and yet they can’t be feminists by definition. . . . Feminism is just set of big crying complaints that is conveniently masked by a biological distinction. It allows a subset of weak people to cover up their infantile tantrums with a more abstract tantrum, ignoring that other weak people (who are males) also have the same tantrums but can’t use the feminist (or any) abstract tantrum to cover up theirs. . . . This is a major reason feminism is ill-founded. Feminists shouldn’t be surprised when it isn’t taken seriously.

  14. asskickmcgee says:

    Women who show their tits have no rights to equal wages! Feminists shouldn’t be pretty because men like pretty women. Teach that strumpet a lesson.

  15. J Cline says:

    Put them away, dear – they’re not that nice. Flog what’s in your brain, not your bra.

  16. Most feminists, like most thinking people, appreciate the absurdity of forcing women to cover their breasts. Women have just as much right to go topless as men.

    • Dave says:

      And, I for one, support them as long as it doesn’t become a “hate crime” for me to discreetly appreciate them.

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