Baftas host Joanna Lumley shocks viewers with 'ill-advised' Ku Klux Klan joke
The 72-year-old star presented tonight's ceremony, but left viewers shocked when she made the remark during her opening monologue.
Discussing Spike Lee's hit film Blackkklansman, Joanna quipped: "I’m surprised that it did so well at the Klan Film Festival", in reference to Cannes Film Festival.
The joke drew a stunned silence from the star-studded audience at the Royal Albert Hall, and viewers at home were equally shocked.
Taking to social media, fans slammed the Absolutely Fabulous star's comment, with one critic writing: "I was gushing about Joanna Lumley.
"Then things went south. KKK ruins everything."
Another added: "The Klan Film Festival joke was terrible."
A third said: "Joanna Lumley’s Klan Film Festival joke was ill advised. Lowlight of a cringeworthy opening to #BAFTA".
Blackkklansman tells the true story of Ron Stallworth, played by John David Washington, who was the first black detective on the Colorado Springs Police Department.
Stallworth convinces his Jewish colleague [Adam Driver] to go undercover as a white supremacist in the Ku Klux Klan in the midst of the 1970s civil rights movement, proving his worth on the force.
It was nominated for a total of five BAFTAs this evening, taking home the prize for Best Adapted Screenplay, and nominated for Best Director, Best Film, Best Original Music, and Best Supporting Actor for Adam Driver.
Elsewhere tonight, the cream of the Hollywood crop rubbed shoulders with royalty as Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, attended the swanky ceremony.
The Favourite appeared to live up to its name as it dominated the winners lists after racking up a staggering 12 nominations.
This evening's awards will no doubt be scoured for clues as to who might triumph at the prestigious Hollywood Academy Awards later this month in what is shaping up to be an unpredictable awards season.
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