Entertainment

The BBC has apologised for a “misjudged” question to Andrew Scott in an awkward red carpet interview at the BAFTA film awards last week.

During the starry event, which honours the best films of the past year, Scott was questioned about the film Saltburn, and more specifically about fellow Irish star Barry Keoghan’s genitals.

Image:
Barry Keoghan. Pic: Reuters

After chatting to Scott, 47, about his film All Of Us Strangers, BBC entertainment correspondent Colin Paterson moved onto the popularity of other Irish performers, including Saltburn star Keoghan.

Paterson asked: “Do you know Barry well?”

To which Scott replied: “I know Barry, yeah.”

Paterson then asked Scott: “Can I ask your reaction when you first saw the naked dance scene at the end of Saltburn?”

Deflecting the question Scott replied: “Oh gees, I won’t spoil it for anybody.”

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Not letting it drop, Paterson persisted: “There is a lot of talk about the prosthetics… how well do you know him?” at which point Scott pulled a face and awkwardly walked away.

Paterson then asked: “Too much? Too much?”

The interview led to complaints, some of which expressed concern that the line of questioning was homophobic, due to Scott being a high-profile gay actor.

Image:
Scott and Paul Mescal in All Of Us Strangers. Pic: Searchlight Pictures

In response, the corporation issued a statement, which read: “Saltburn is a film which has had cultural impact, with Barry Keoghan’s scene at the end gaining a lot of attention in particular – something the actor has addressed himself.

“Our question to Andrew Scott was meant to be a light-hearted reflection of the discussion around the scene and was not intended to cause offence”.

The BBC said Saltburn director Emerald Fennell and singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor – whose song Murder on the Dancefloor features in the scene and who performed at the BAFTA ceremony – also faced the same line of questioning.

The statement added: “We do, however, accept that the specific question asked to Andrew Scott was misjudged.

“After speaking with Andrew on the carpet, our reporter acknowledged on air that his questioning may have gone too far and that he was sorry if this was the case.”

Image:
Keoghan in Saltburn. Pic: MGM/Amazon Studios

All Of Us Strangers received six BAFTA nominations, including outstanding British film, best supporting actor for Paul Mescal, best supporting actress for Claire Foy and best director for Andrew Haigh.

Despite a widely praised lead performance, Scott did not receive a nomination for best actor in a leading role. He did however, present the animated film award on the night alongside co-star Mescal.

Saltburn had five BAFTA nods including outstanding British film, best supporting actor for Jacob Elordi, best supporting actress for Rosamund Pike, and best actor in a leading role for Keoghan.

Both films left empty handed.

Scottish reporter Paterson, 50, first began reporting on The Big Breakfast, before writing for the Guardian and later presenting on Liquid News on BBC Three.

He has covered the BAFTAs, Oscars and Glastonbury Festival multiple times.

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