With her role as Hermione Grainger in the Harry Potter films getting smaller and smaller in her rearview mirror, actress Emma Watson has been able to devote her attention and energy to social and political causes, most notably, gender inequality. Another young actress, Talulah Riley, has taken issues with Watson's approach, claiming that they way Watson goes about unifying genders is the incorrect approach to equality.
When speaking with a correspondent at the Daily Mail, Riley explained, "‘Men and women should have equal rights, of course, but [they] are also different and there’s nothing wrong with that." She added, "We don’t have to start unifying gender in order to establish political equality." Riley has previously twice been married to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
Last week, the MTV Movie & TV Awards took a big step towards gender equality with one of their awards. Rather than distinguish "Best Actor" and "Best Actress," they stuck to the more neutral "Actor," with both men and women receiving nominations. Watson took home the award for her role in Beauty and the Beast.
Upon winning the award, Watson professed, "The first acting award in history that doesn’t separate nominees based on their sex says something about how we perceive the human experience."
The actress has also been a vocal supporter of the HeForShe campaign, an organization that invites "people around the world to stand together to create a bold, visible force for gender equality. And it starts by taking action right now to create a gender equal world."
Riley, on the other hand, points out, "‘The HeForShe campaign creates a lot of confusion when it comes to gender equality, because people are getting stuck in a semantic argument, rather than addressing the actual issue. People are associating gender equality with being exactly the same and, of course, that’s not what it means."
She added, "You lose the real issue when you have that confusion."
This isn't the first time Watson has come under fire for her attempts at gender equality, with Piers Morgan attacking her earlier this year.
Shortly after Watson made comments about the "male gaze" in the entertainment industry, she appeared in Vanity Fair in a revealing outfit.
In response to the photo shoot, Morgan said, "“She also exposed herself to some as a feminist fraud, someone who professes to want other women to have the ‘freedom and liberation’ to decide how they behave as feminists, but who actually wants to dictate to them how they behave as feminists.”
Photo Credit: Daily Mail, Getty / Jason LaVeris