Emma Watson appeared to make a subtle dig at JK Rowling at the Bafta Film Awards on Sunday night (13 March).
The 31-year-old, who is best known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film franchise, attended the glittering ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall to present the award for best outstanding British film.
Baftas host Rebel Wilson introduced the Harry Potter star to the stage, saying: “Here to present the next award is Emma Watson.
“She calls herself a feminist, but we all know she’s a witch.”
Watson then made her way on-stage and with a cheeky smile emphasised: “I’m here for all the witches, by the way.”
Her comment appeared to take a swipe at Rowling following her controversial commnets on transgender women.
Viewers quickly took to social media after the quip to discuss what the comment meant.
One Twitter user wrote: “Emma Watson destroying JK.”
Another said: “Ooooooh Emma Watson throwing so much shade at JK Rowling! This is the drama I needed tonight.”
“Live for Emma Watson throwing subtle shade at JK Rowling at the #BAFTAs #LGBWithTheT #JKDoesntSpeakForMe”, another added.
Someone else wrote: “Loving Emma Watson’s vibe tonight. Hitting JK Rowling where it hurts”.
"Woah! Emma just went IN on JK Rowling”, another user joked.
“Was that a jibe by emma watson at jk rowling? what a QUEEEEENNN”, one user cheered.
“JK Rowling is somewhere shaking after that comment from Emma. What a classy woman”, added another.
Earlier in the evening, comedian Wilson, 42, also made a dig at Rowling after joking that she is “looking different” following her five stone weight loss.
The comedian, who has been documenting her weight loss journey on Instagram, said that she has had a “transformation” and quipped: “I hope JK Rowling still approves.”
Why is JK Rowling being criticised?
The comments come after the best-selling author, 56, has come under fire for her comments about the trans community.
The controversy began in 2020 when Rowling publicly shared her disapproval of certain transgender terminolfy.
The author took to Twitter to say she took issue with the term “people who menstruate” being used instead of “women”.
At the time, she wrote: “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people.
“Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?".
Her comments were branded “transphobic”, but the author hit back at critics insisting: “It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”
Rowling later explained her comments, saying: “At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”
She added that she respects “every trans person’s rights to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them”, and went on to share an essay discussing her thoughts on biological sex.
The author said that her issues stemmed from being a survivor of abuse which gave her concerns about single sex spaces.
She wrote: “I’m mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who’ve been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces.”
Rowling faced criticism last week over a tweet about International Women’s Day. In a thread criticising the Labour Party’s stance on gender and equality, she said: “Apparently, under a Labour government, today will become We Who Must Not Be Named Day.”
The 56 year-old also hit out at Nicola Sturgeon for a law proposed in Scotland that would simplify how trans people’s genders are recognised.
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