Unfortunately for all of us, and especially for Emilia Clarke, it’s 2022 and men are still men-ing.
At the Australian premiere of House of the Dragon, HBO’s new Game of Thrones prequel, Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany gave a short speech about the success of the original show, recalling that he was late to the hype. For whatever reason, during this speech, which was delivered in front of a room full of fellow industry professionals, Delany found it necessary to remark on star Emilia Clarke’s body.
“I was like, ‘What’s this show with the short, dumpy girl walking into the fire?’” he told an unamused crowd at Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter, according to Australian news outlet Crikey. He was apparently referring to the scene in the first season finale of Game of Thrones when Clarke’s character, Daenerys Targaryen, walks into a fire with three stones and emerges—unharmed—with three dragons.
Two of the attendees, speaking to the outlet, addressed the vibe in the room after Delany’s ill-considered remark.
“It felt like he was expecting us to laugh along but people in the room were obviously shocked by it,” an attendee said. “There was a bit of a gasp,” said another.
A Foxtel Group spokesperson, attempting damage control, later told Crikey that Delany’s comments were intended as “self-deprecating” and “light-hearted.”
“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,” the spokesperson said. “On behalf of Mr. Delany, the Foxtel Group apologizes if his remarks were misunderstood and caused any offense.” (Not sure how one can “misunderstand” being referred to as short and dumpy, but okay!)