Emilia Clarke branded ‘short and dumpy’ by TV boss at House of the Dragon premiere in Australia
House of the Dragon is a prequel to the HBO series Game of Thrones
Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany referenced Emilia in his speech at the premiere, which was held at the Entertainment Quarter, while telling the audience about how he was late to watch Game of Thrones.
According to Crikey, Delany said: “I was like, ‘what is this show with the short, dumpy girl walking into fire?’”
The insult referenced an episode from season one, where Emilia Clarke’s character Daenerys Targaryen walks into a burning temple.
The upcoming HBO show is a Game of Thrones’ spinoff, however, it is understood that the Queen of Dragons will not appear in the prequel show despite it centring around her character’s family.
The cast includes Matt Smith, Rhys Ifans, Emma D’arcy and Olivia Cooke.
House of the Dragon is set two centuries before GoT and follows the characters battling for the infamous iron throne.
After Delany’s insult, attendees said the response was cold from the audience.
One said: “It felt like he was expecting us to laugh along but people in the room were obviously shocked by it.
Another added: “There was a bit of a gasp.”
Delany became Foxtel’s CEO in 2018 and oversaw the company as the Game of Thrones’ final brought in the largest overnight subscription audience in 2019.
The fantasy television series was the world’s most-watched show and according to Foxtel, it is seen as a key property across its services.
A Foxtel spokesperson said that Delany’s comments were supposed to be lighthearted and self-deprecating.
“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 recognised and most-loved actors in television and film.”
They added: “On behalf of Mr Delany, the Foxtel Group apologises if his remarks were misunderstood and caused any offence.”
Emilia Clarke has not responded to Patrick Delany’s comments.
While the British actress is not reprising her role, she is currently starring in a West End show called The Seagull, until 10 September, which was adapted by Anya Reiss.
Emilia, who plays a girl called Nina, shared her excitement on social media.
She said on Instagram: “Seagull appreciation post. I am the luckiest girl alive to be surrounded by the greatest human beans to every exist, doing the thing that makes me happier than work legally should EIGHT TIMES A WEEK!
“These folks are my family and I’d lay down my life for each and everyone of them for giving me this golden moment in the west end sun…(sweltering heatwave.) Thank you life!”