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Australian CEO calls ‘Game of Thrones’ star ‘short, dumpy girl’, company apologises

Patrick Delaney, the CEO of Australian pay television company Foxtel, made the comment at the premiere of 'The House of Dragons' -- 'Game of Thrones' prequel -- in Sydney on August 16.

August 18, 2022 / 11:30 AM IST
Australian TV boss Patrick Delaney and British actor Emilia Clarke.  (Images: LinkedIn and Facebook)

Australian TV boss Patrick Delaney and British actor Emilia Clarke. (Images: LinkedIn and Facebook)

An Australian CEO has drawn ire for his unfavourable comments about actor Emilia Clarke, who shot to fame with her role of Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones.

Patrick Delaney, the CEO of Australian pay television company Foxtel, described the British star as a "short, dumpy girl" at the premiere of The House of Dragons -- Game of Thrones' prequel -- in Sydney on August 16, according to Australian magazine Crikey.

He was speaking about being late in hopping on the Game of Thrones craze

“I was like, ‘What’s this show with the short, dumpy girl walking into the fire?'” Delaney was quoted as saying by the magazine.

Delaney was referring to Emilia Clarke's character Daenerys Targaryen, who in one crucial scene in the show emerges unscathed from a fire.


Game of Thrones is based on American novelist George RR Martin's fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. It is an epic story of noble houses, politics and violence set in medieval times.

The show, that first aired in 2011 and ran for eight seasons, became a global phenomenon and swept many major awards.

The prequel to the show, focussing of the Targaryens -- one of the lineages shown in Game of Thrones -- will begin streaming soon.

At its Sydney premiere, the audience were left shocked by Delaney's comments.

“It felt like he was expecting us to laugh along but people in the room were obviously shocked by it,” one audience member told Crikey magazine.

“There was a bit of a gasp,” another said.

Foxtel has apology for its CEO's comments.

“On behalf of Mr Delany, the Foxtel Group apologises if his remarks were misunderstood and caused any offence," a spokesperson for the company told Crikey.

They said their CEO wanted to speak about how Clarke, who was relatively unknown before Game of Thrones, went on to become "one of the most-loved actors" in the industry.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Aug 18, 2022 11:24 am
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