The highest-ranking executive at Australian TV company Foxtel is apologizing after insulting “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke at a premiere of the “GoT” prequel series, “House of the Dragon”.
Patrick Delany, the CEO of Foxtel, underhandedly attacked Clarke while addressing the audience at the Sydney premiere of “House of the Dragon.” Before the screening began, Delany told the audience that he didn’t much care for “GoT” at first, according to Australian news outlet Crikey.
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“I was like, ‘What’s this show with the short, dumpy girl walking into the fire?’” he said, referencing a famous scene in season 1 of the show that focused on Clarke’s character Daenerys Targaryen .
The audience was reportedly shocked.
“It felt like he was expecting us to laugh along, but people in the room were obviously shocked by it,” one person told Crikey. “There was a bit of a gasp.”
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As outrage spread about Delany’s remarks, Foxtel stepped in to issue a mea culpa of sorts on its CEO’s behalf.
“The Foxtel Group apologizes if his remarks were misunderstood and caused any offence,” a company spokesperson said in a statement, per The Wrap.
“The aim was to convey that for him, ‘Games of Thrones’ was something very different for television in 2011 and that Emilia Clarke went from relatively unknown to one of the most recognized and most-loved actors in television and film,” they added.
Neither Clarke nor her representatives have commented on the matter.