As Emma Watson launched the formative years of her career with Alan Rickman, it’s no surprise that his death rocked her enough to take to Twitter to share a few words about the fallen actor. The actress first posted on Facebook that she was distraught over the sudden departure of her friend.
While a heartfelt eulogy to Alan seems to be a relatively uncontroversial topic, Emma has been attracting criticism for using a particular quote of Rickman’s to memorialize his death. Watson, who has become one the most recognized celebrity feminists, included a quote from Alan that reminded her Twitter followers that he was also a strong advocate of women’s rights.
Emma later added several other tweets which featured quotes by Rickman. Those more innocuous messages spoken about the art of acting and drive for success, no doubt things that Watson discussed in her “talks” with Alan.
Still, not everyone was on board with Emma linking a feminist quote to Rickman’s death. Some felt that the association was unfairly politicizing his passing, and that Watson was taking opportunistic moment in what should be a tragedy. Some even referred to her use of Alan’s quote as propaganda.
@EmWatson You knew him…i’m guessing he was your friend. You’re using his memory for propaganda, please, think about it again…
— Tomás Allende Conte (@TomsAllende) January 14, 2016
— CmdrRostov (@CmdrRostov) January 14, 2016
.@EmWatson oh wow, you’re using someone’s death to push a completely unrelated agenda. this is so, so gross.
— Chloë Price (@Dekashoko) January 14, 2016
Many, however, disagree with the assertion that Emma was trying to inject her ideology into the dedication to Rickman. As Watson is actually using Alan’s words, her defenders argued, they cannot take on an unintended meaning.
— Ivy Shoots (@IvyShoots) January 14, 2016
.@Dekashoko @EmWatson @nascar_jesus or.. she’s simply posting a meme of her good friend on something she really respects about his character
— Kevin (@KevinWalsh222) January 14, 2016
@Watto_Goinsburg @EmWatson yeah!! How dare she quote his own words and accurately represent his own beliefs!!
— New-Age Retro Hippie (@binjabreel) January 14, 2016
Twitter wasn’t the only place that Emma’s words were torn apart either. Comments sections on major media reporting on her dedication to Alan were filled with people furious over what they saw as an overt agenda from Watson. Though it is also notable that many such news sources themselves, such as The Independent, were very positive about the tribute to Rickman.
@EmWatson Brilliant man. Unfortunately the comments under this on my FB feed show just why we still need feminism… pic.twitter.com/l3Prk1gMaL
— BlackfishGirl (@BlackfishGirl) January 14, 2016
Emma Watson has become one the most closely associated celebrities with feminism after launching the HeForShe campaign in conjunction with the United Nations. The purpose of the movement is to make feminism a priority not only for the world’s women, but also for men. It’s likely because of that cause célèbre that she’s now suffering the accusation of using Alan Rickman’s own alliance with the struggle for equality to capitalize on his death.
[Image via Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images]