George Floyd death: Harry Potter star Emma Watson responds to her #BlackoutTuesday backlash

3 June 2020, 06:26 | Updated: 3 June 2020, 08:27

Emma Watson has responded to a backlash over her social media posts about #BlackoutTuesday, telling fans "I see your anger, sadness and pain".

Millions of people turned the internet black in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has been brought back into sharp focus following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis last week.

But the Harry Potter star has been accused of prioritising the way her Instagram looks after posting three black squares with white borders.

One user wrote: "You have to be kidding, share some links!!! Use your platform to share information."

Another urged Watson to "Please speak up about this important issue! You have a huge platform".

One of the themes of #BlackoutTuesday was avoiding self-promotion and commercial content, and instead calling for racial equality.

Mass protests are continuing across the US and elsewhere after Mr Floyd, 46, died when a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes as he pleaded "I can't breathe".

Watson has said she had waited for the movement to finish in the UK before posting again, telling her 57.2 million followers "I stand with you".

She wrote: "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."

The 30-year-old added that she would be using her social media accounts to share links to resources she has found "useful for my own researching, learning, listening".

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She continued: "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."

Sacked police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Three other officers involved were sacked, but have not been charged.