Emma Watson threatened by hackers after UN speech

Published September 24, 2014
Emma Watson poses at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California March 2, 2014. – Photo by Reuters
Emma Watson poses at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California March 2, 2014. – Photo by Reuters

NEW YORK: Hackers threatened to leak nude photos of actress Emma Watson days in response to she gave a speech at the United Nations urging men to join the fight for gender equality, The Guardian newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Users of 4chan, the website behind other leaks of celebrities nude photos, created a new site called "Emma You Are Next", The Guardian said.

Late Tuesday night, under a photo of a weeping Watson and a countdown clock that had ticked down to zero, a message read, "We will launch earlier, tune in on September 24, 2014 at 12am EST (0400 GMT)."

In her speech at the UN, the Harry Potter actress said she believed it was right for her to be able to make decisions about her own body.

"My recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word," said Watson. "I was appointed six months ago and the more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realised that fighting for women's rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop."

The threats could be the work of Internet trolls and their credibility is hard to assess, with some 4chan users suggesting that the episode was a prank, The Guardian reported.

Watson's UN speech marked the launch of the "HeForShe" campaign, which aims at mobilising 1 billion men and boys over the course of 12 months to support gender equality.

The campaign's web site, www.heforshe.org, includes a map showing the countries in which men have clicked to join the effort. By Tuesday, more than 90,000 men and boys had signed online pledges.

UN Women did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fans tweet support for the actor as she faces disturbing backlash:

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