Australian CEO Sparks Outrage With Emilia Clarke 'Short, Dumpy Girl' Remark

A spokesperson for Australian television company Foxtel issues an apology after its CEO, Patrick Delany, makes the cringey comment on the 'Game of Thrones' alum at an event for the prequel series 'House of the Dragon'.

AceShowbiz - An Australian CEO apparently didn't know better how to express his appreciation to one of its biggest shows and the star. Patrick Delany, the CEO of Australian television company Foxtel, has sparked outrage after he branded Emilia Clarke a "short, dumpy girl" while trying to highlight the impact her show "Game of Thrones" had on the network.

As reported by Australian news outlet Crikey (via Vanity Fair), Delany was giving a speech ahead of the screening of "Game of Thrones" prequel series "House of the Dragon" when he attempted to make a joke about the first time he watched the HBO series. "I was like, 'What's this show with the short, dumpy girl walking into the fire?' " he said.

The audience, however, didn't get Delaney's joke. One attendee reportedly told the news outlet, "It felt like he was expecting us to laugh along but people in the room were obviously shocked by it," while another said that "there was a bit of a gasp" after Delany made the comment.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who reps the Aussie Greens party, said the comment "went down like a lead balloon," according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Film critic Travis Johnson, who also attended the premiere, tweeted that he "turned to my mate for clarification as I simply didn't believe someone would say that on mic."

A spokesperson for Foxtel later issued a statement to clarify Delany's remark. "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 rep claimed.

The rep also apologized for the comment, which was meant to be self-deprecating, "On behalf of Mr. Delany, the Foxtel Group apologies if his remarks were misunderstood and caused any offense."

Clarke has not responded to Delany's comment. The English actress starred on "Game of Thrones" from season 1, which premiered in 2011, until its final season in 2019. She doesn't star on the new series "House of the Dragon", which is set to premiere on HBO on Sunday, August 21.

The prequel show, set two hundred years before the events of "Game of Thrones", chronicles the beginning of the end of House Targaryen. It stars Paddy Considine, Emma D'Arcy, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke and Rhys Ifans among others.

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