Foxtel Apologises for CEO Labelling ‘Game of Thrones’ Actress Emilia Clarke a ‘Short, Dumpy Girl’

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen
Courtesy of Binge

Patrick Delany, the CEO of Australian subscription television and streaming service, Foxtel, has issued an apology via a spokesperson for any offence caused when he dubbed “Game of Thrones” actress Emilia Clarke a “short, dumpy girl”.

Delany made the comments at the local premiere of “Game of Thrones” prequel, “House of Dragon”, which will stream on Foxtel’s Binge platform.

His comments were then reported in Crikey and discussed online.

“I was like, ‘What’s this show with the short, dumpy girl walking into the fire?’,” he said, in reference to Clarke’s character Daenerys Targaryen in “Fire and Blood” (Season 1 Episode 10).

The comment was reportedly not well received.

In response, Foxtel has now issued a clarification, apologising for any misunderstandings and offence caused.

A spokesperson told Crikey that Delany’s comments were meant to be self-depreciating and light-hearted.

“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,” the spokesperson said.

“On behalf of Mr Delany, the Foxtel Group apologises if his remarks were misunderstood and caused any offence.”

“Game of Thrones” is an HBO show which ran from 2011 to 2019.

Foxtel’s exclusive local access to the show was largely regarded as a driving force in people retaining their subscription to the platform in the wake of more streaming and subscription options proliferating.

When it ended in 2019, Foxtel said its Season 8 finale “made ratings history” and was “the most-watched TV drama of all time”.

The entire series is also available on Foxtel’s two-year-old streaming service, Binge, as HBO has not launched its streaming service HBO Max in the Australian market yet.

Foxtel’s Binge also has exclusive local rights to the “Game of Thrones” prequel “House of Dragon”, which does not feature Clarke or her character Daenerys.