Filed in News

Emma Watson And Thandiwe Newton Lead Campaign To End Online Abuse

More than 200 people have signed an open letter

Names such as Emma Watson, Thandiwe Newton, ex-tennis player Billie Jean King and former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard have signed an open letter asking for action against the internet trolling of women.

The letter, which has been published at the UN Generation Equality Forum, asked the chief executives of Facebook, Google, TikTok, and Twitter, to “urgently prioritize the safety of women on your platforms,” reports the BBC.

“As prime minister of Australia, like other women in the public domain, I regularly received highly gendered and ugly social media, including the circulation of pornographic cartoons,” explained Gillard, adding that she feels “angry and frustrated that women still face this kind of abuse”.

Despite companies committing to improving systems and filtering what their users see, some campaigners are concerned it’s not enough.

The letter reads: “The internet is the town square of the 21st Century. It is where debate takes place, communities are built, products are sold and reputations are made.

“But the scale of online abuse means that, for too many women, these digital town squares are unsafe. This is a threat to progress on gender equality.”

It highlighted a 2020 study, which found that 38 percent of more than 4,000 women in 51 different countries had experienced direct online intimidation, emphasizing worse abuse for marginalized groups and Black, Asian, Latin American, and mixed-race women.

Azmina Dhrodia, senior policy manager at the World Wide Web Foundation, who organized the letter, said: “It is really important that we recognize that abuse and harassment against women on social media platforms are widespread and that it is one of the biggest barriers to gender equality.”


Filed in News

Emma Watson Backs Startup Aiming To Revolutionize Plastic

Plastic: Next to the burning of fossil fuels, it represents one of the greatest environmental threats facing the planet.

Researchers estimate that since 1950, more than 8.3 billion metric tons of the stuff has been produced, more than one ton for every person currently on the planet. Once used, much of it is burned. The rest winds up in landfills or in the ocean, where it can take up to five centuries to fully decompose. In the meantime, it poses a threat to wildlife and, through potentially carcinogenic microplastics that enter the food chain, us too.

London-based startup FabricNano is targeting this scourge with a new kind of manufacturing that harnesses the chemical laboratories that exist inside the cells of living organisms, but it does so without the need to actually use living things. Its first product is a precursor for the creation of biodegradable polyester, which FabricNano’s founders think they can produce at a price that will make it competitive with the petroleum-based plastics that are used in everything from water bottles to fast-food trays.

Among those inspired by that vision are actress Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame, Twitter cofounder Biz Stone, and Alexander Moscho, the former chief executive of Bayer. They are part of a $12.5 million investment round in FabricNano, led by London-based venture capital firm Atomico, announced today.

Watson, who played Hermione in the Harry Potter franchise, became a seed investor in FabricNano after being approached by the company on the advice of Atomico and Tania Boler, the founder of Elvie, a startup that makes innovative technology for women, including a breast pump. Boler is also a seed investor in FabricNano. She formerly had roles in several development organizations and at the United Nations cultural organization Unesco. Watson is currently the United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador and is interested in environmental causes.


Filed in News

Emma Watson Shuts Down Engagement Rumors

Using her voice! Emma Watson took to social media to clear up the many rumors circulating about her and her life — and she wasn’t afraid, to be honest.

“Dear Fans, Rumors about whether I’m engaged or not, or whether my career is ‘dormant or not’ are ways to create clicks each time they are revealed to be true or untrue,” Watson, 31, tweeted on Monday, May 17. “If I have news – I promise I’ll share it with you.”

The Harry Potter alum continued: “In the meantime please assume no news from me just means I’m quietly spending the pandemic the way most people are – failing to make sourdough bread (!), caring for my loved ones, and doing my best not to spread a virus that is still affecting so many people.”

The actress ended the thread with a positive message to her fans.

“I am sending so much love to you, hoping you’re ok and as well and happy as you can be in these strange times. And again, thank you to everyone working so hard to keep us safe and well,” she concluded her social media post.

The Little Women star has been dating Leo Robinton since April 2020. She was previously linked to Chord Overstreet, Johnny Simmons, and Will Adamowicz. Watson later sparked romance rumors with her Harry Potter costar Tom Felton but neither party confirmed that they were anything more than friends.

Watson has shared her thoughts on relationships and even coined the term “self-partnered” in 2019 as a way to empower herself and anyone else who is happy being single.

The activist also shared her thoughts on working to maintain relationships.

“I feel that relationships that don’t necessarily follow traditional models do require more communication and consent,” Watson shared during a conversation with Teen Vogue in March 2020. “It requires an actual conversation and agreement about the delegation of tasks and labor and responsibilities that maybe you don’t feel that you need to have or should have if you follow those traditional stereotypes.”

She added, “The idea that relationships are supposed to be easy and it’s all supposed to be implicitly understood, and you’re just meant to get each other, it’s bullsh–t! It’s impossible!”