Alan Rickman: Emma Watson accused of exploiting actor’s death to push her own ‘feminist agenda’

Watson was attacked for sharing a quote from Rickman about feminsim 

Emma Watson was one of many to pay tribute to Alan Rickman after the much loved British actor died on Thursday. 

His countless friends within the industry praised his humour, wit, and presence on stage, screen and as a director following his death from cancer aged 69. In her own tributes, Watson celebrated Rickman’s life by highlighting his singular talent and the friendship they shared after acting in eight films together. 

The Harry Potter actress grew up on the set of the film series alongside Rickman, whose most recognisable role came in the form of the formidable potions master Severus Snape. She remembered “the special man and actor” affectionately, writing: “I’ll really miss our conversations. RIP Alan. We love you.”

Alan Rickman signs autographs as he arrives for the North American premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at Lincoln Center in New York, 2011

In a Twitter tribute, Watson highlighted Rickman's pride in identifying as a feminist by sharing a snippet from an interview he once gave: “There is nothing wrong with a man being a feminist, I think it is to our mutual advantage.” Her tweet was an exact quote but Watson, a Goodwill ambassador for the UN and advocate of gender equality with her He for She campaign, still found herself accused of exploiting his death to promote her own “feminist agenda”. 

The backlash comes despite Rickman often speaking about women in film and gender equality in a number of interviews. 

“I always think feminist just means common sense,” he told Entertainment Weekly last year. "Do I live in a world and certainly in a business that is incredibly unfair to women? Yes, I do.”

Fortunately, the negative voices were deafened by the thousands retweeting her quote and celebrating Rickman's progressiveness.