BAFTAs 201 host Joanna Lumley is at the centre of a racism storm after telling a "shocking" joke about the Ku Klux Klan.
The presenter, 72, infuriated viewers by making a gag about the the "Klan Film Festival" while introducing the nominees.
She was talking about Spike Lee’s film Blackkklansman when she made an ill-advised joke about the movie’s success at the French movie event.
Joanna said: "I’m surprised Blackkklansman did so well at the Klan Film Festival" – drawing a shocked silence from the audience at the Royal Albert Hall.
It didn’t go down well with viewers at home either and they flocked to Twitter to condemn her attempt at humour.
One wrote: "The Klan film festival"?! Imagine…someone actually got paid for writing Lumley’s script. Shocking stuff. BAFTA."
Another added: "Joanna Lumley’s Klan Film Festival joke was ill advised. Lowlight of a cringeworthy opening to BAFTA."
A third wrote: "BAFTA Did Joanna lumley just make a joke about the klan in relation to spike lee and his film ?…"
One more added: "Oh, Joanna, these really are terrible jokes. Klan Film Festival and illegal war? Honestly, this is painful."
BlacKkKlansman is a satirical comedy that looks at the 1970s American race war and was up for the coveted best film prize against The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, and A Star Is Born.
Olivia Colman won best actress for her role in The Favourite and Rami Malek got best actor for his part in Bohemian Rhapsody.
The Favourite led the full list of nominees with 12 nods in various categories and scooped seven of them.
Olivia plays Queen Anne in the movie, and the 18th century monarch’s distant relative Prince William was there with his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
The Favourite is also hotly tipped for success at the upcoming Oscars and tonight’s prizegiving is expected to be a good indicator of who will triumph at Hollywood’s biggest night.
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