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A TV executive has apologized after referring to “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke as a “short, dumpy girl.”
Australian news outlet Crikey reported that Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany made the disparaging remarks when he addressed the audience at the premiere screening of the HBO show’s spinoff series “House of the Dragon” in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday.
During his speech, the Australian television executive recalled that he was late to start watching the hit series, in which Clarke played Daenerys Targaryen, and shared his reaction to a pivotal scene in the “Game of Thrones” premiere episode.
“‘I was like, ‘What's this show with the short, dumpy girl walking into the fire?'” he said’”, according to Crikey.
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The outlet reported that Delany’s comment was poorly received by the audience.
“It felt like he was expecting us to laugh along, but people in the room were obviously shocked by it,” an attendee told Crikey.
Another attendee said, “There was a bit of a gasp.”
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Foxtel aired “Games of Thrones” in Australia throughout its eight-season run and will premiere the first episode of the show’s highly anticipated prequel series on its worldwide release date on August 21.
Following the backlash to his insult, a Foxtel Group spokesperson issued an apology and clarified Delany’s comments.
“The Foxtel Group apologies if his remarks were misunderstood and caused any offense,” read the statement from the company obtained by The Wrap.
The company continued, “The aim was to convey that for him, “Game 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.”
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Representatives for Clarke did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
According to a Foxtel press release, the “Game of Thrones” series finale broke records for the company, bringing in the largest overnight audience in subscription TV history.
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Ratings expectations are high for “House of the Dragon,” which is based on “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin's 2018 novel “Fire & Blood.”The show is set approximately 200 years before the events depicted in “Game of Thrones” and will follow the story of Daenerys’ Targaryen ancestors.
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“House of the Dragon” stars Matt Smith, Emma D'Arcy, Milly Alcock, Rhys Ifans, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Paddy Considine, Fabien Frankel and Sonoya Mizuno, among others.
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