Public speaking is never easy, but one thing we can definitely recommend is do not premiere a new HBO series by jokingly calling one of the franchise’s biggest stars a “short, dumpy girl.” Unfortunately, that’s exactly what Foxtel CEO Patrick Delaney did during the Sydney premiere of House of the Dragon. More wildly, the quip was aimed at Emilia Clarke, who is easily one of the more beautiful people on the planet.
Via Crikey, which we swear to God is an actual Australian news site:
The long-time Foxtel executive retold how he was late to start watching Game of Thrones. “I was like, ‘What’s this show with the short, dumpy girl walking into the fire?’” he said.
According to two attendees, the response to the comment was cold. “It felt like he was expecting us to laugh along but people in the room were obviously shocked by it,” one said. “There was a bit of a gasp,” another said.
Needless to say, Foxtel quickly scrambled to address their CEO publicly calling a famous actress a “short, dumpy girl.” According to a spokesperson, Delaney meant for his introduction to be “self-deprecating and light-hearted” even though he notably didn’t call himself short and dumpy. Excuses aside, the company did apologize for the remarks.
“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 recognised and most-loved actors in television and film,” a spokesperson told Crikey. “On behalf of Mr Delany, the Foxtel Group apologies if his remarks were misunderstood and caused any offence.”