The columnist mocked Watson for simultaneously being an unapologetic feminist and appearing in a candid shot wearing a see-through top.
The picture was part of a photo series by US magazine Vanity Fair. Watson is this month’s cover star.
Hartley-Brewer posted a picture of the Sun newspaper’s coverage, which splashed a shot of the former Harry Potter star it described as “topless” on page three.
“Emma Watson: ‘Feminism, feminism... gender wage gap... why oh why am I not taken seriously... feminism... oh, and here are my tits!’”
The accusation angered many, with people piling in to censure Hartley-Brewer.
Hartley-Brewer tackled some of her critics head-on.
Watson was featuring in a special edition of Vanity Fair to promote her upcoming film ‘Beauty and the Beast’, a remake of the classic Disney tale in which she plays Belle.
In an interview to promote the film, the actress hit back, making clear she was baffled by the backlash.
“It just always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is about what feminism is.
“Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it. It’s very confusing.
“I’m confused. Most people are confused. No, I’m just always just quietly stunned.”
Co-star Dan Stevens seemed just as confused.
Stevens: “What were people saying about your tits?”
Watson: “They were saying I couldn’t be a feminist ...”
Stevens: “... and have boobs ...”
Watson: “... and have boobs.”
Stevens: “That’s ... not true.”