GOT Daenerys Queen
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) has been angling for the Iron Throne since Season 1 of "Game of Thrones." Helen Sloan/HBO


  • Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany made the comment at the Sydney premiere of HBO's "House of the Dragon"
  • Social media users slammed Delany over the remark 
  • A Foxtel spokesperson apologized for Delany's comments, explaining that it was an attempt at self-deprecating humor

Emilia Clarke received support from fans after the CEO of an Australian television company made an eyebrow-raising remark about her during the launch of a "Game of Thrones" prequel series Tuesday.

While delivering a speech at the Sydney premiere of HBO's "House of the Dragon," Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany talked about how he was late to begin watching "Game of Thrones," in which the British actress, 35, portrayed Daenerys Targaryen.

In an attempt to make the audience laugh, he allegedly referred to Clarke as a "short, dumpy girl," according to Australian news outlet Crikey, who broke the story.

"I was like, 'What's this show with the short, dumpy girl walking into the fire?'" Delany reportedly said.

However, the joke shocked the audience, with one unnamed attendee telling Crikey: "There was a bit of a gasp."

"It felt like he was expecting us to laugh along, but people in the room were obviously shocked by it," another unnamed attendee told the outlet.

Film critic Travis Johnson, who was present at the premiere, echoed the sentiment.

"Yeah, I was there for this, and turned to my mate for clarification as I simply didn't believe someone would say that on mic," Johnson tweeted.

Social media users also criticized the Foxtel CEO over his joke about Clarke.

"I refuse to believe this man has ever seen Emilia Clarke because her beauty is the only reason I half-watched three seasons of that god-forsaken show," one tweeted.

"Emilia Clarke seems like one of the nicest people and doesn't deserve to be insulted by a TV CEO who just discovered 'GoT.' His remarks were clearly meant to be offensive," another added.

A third user commented, "It was a dumba-- joke, but now it's just got me staring at Emilia Clarke again."

A Foxtel spokesperson apologized for Delany's comments, saying it was an attempt at self-deprecating humor.

"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 spokesperson told Crikey.

The rep continued, "On behalf of Mr. Delany, the Foxtel Group apologizes if his remarks were misunderstood and caused any offense."

Clarke has not yet publicly addressed the matter.

Clarke was not present at the Sydney premiere and is not part of the cast of "House of the Dragon," which will debut on HBO Sunday.

The 10-episode series is based on George R.R. Martin's "Fire & Blood" novel and is set 200 years before the events of "Game of Thrones." It will focus on the story of House Targaryen.

Clarke is scheduled to appear in the Marvel television series "Secret Invasion," which is now in post-production.

5. Emilia Clarke - An English actress and philanthropist, Emilia Clarke studied at the Drama Centre London, and has appeared in a number of stage productions, including one where she played a classic Audrey Hepburn character on Broadway. She is also best known as Daenerys Targaryen from the fantasy drama Game of Thrones. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Turner