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Friday 13th December 2019

Joanna Lumley under fire for 'ill advised' KKK joke at the BAFTAs

Some people were unimpressed with her monologue

Television viewers have shared their shock after Bafta host Joanna Lumley made a joke about the Ku Klux Klan during her opening monologue.

The Absolutely Fabulous star began the ceremony with a series of gags about the nominated films and stars, but some viewers were shocked at her quip about the film BlacKkKlansman.

Welcoming the movie’s director Spike Lee and star Adam Driver to the ceremony, Joanna said: "It’s an incredible film, it has already won many awards.

Viewers weren't impressed with Joanna's jokes (Credit: BBC)

Read more: Fans baffled by Joanna Lumley's new TV job

"I’m surprised it did so well at the Klan Film Festival."

However, viewers watching the broadcast were stunned at the star’s gag.

"Ooh, that Klan joke was an absolute clunker," said one person on Twitter.

Joanna Lumley’s Klan Film Festival joke was ill advised.

Another wrote: "Joanna Lumley’s Klan Film Festival joke was ill advised. Lowlight of a cringeworthy opening to #BAFTA."

One person posted: "@BAFTAs we’re off to a cracking start right up until Joanna Lumley lost her damn mind and mad a Klan Film Festival joke."

"'The Klan film festival'?! Imagine…someone actually got paid for writing Lumley’s script. Shocking stuff," said another.

Joanna also made a joke about Viola Davis’s heist film Widows, saying it was great to see parts that are normally played by men given to women as "it is important for female bank robbers to have role models too".

And she used a description of Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali’s Green Book to warn winners to keep their speeches short.

"They were just sublime in Green Book, undertaking a perilous journey around America’s Deep South and hoping to get home in time for Christmas, which we should just about manage ourselves, as long as you keep your speeches short," she told the audience.

The star began the ceremony with a series of gags about the nominated films and stars (Credit: BBC)

Discussing how long Richard E Grant had waited for a part such as his role in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, she referred to a recent story about the actor receiving a reply to a letter he sent Barbra Streisand 47 years ago.

The star said: "An actor can wait decades for a role like that, just slightly less time than you have to wait for a reply from Barbara Streisand wasn’t it darling? Was that 44 years?

"But it is lovely to see Babs getting around to doing her correspondence. Well done sweetheart. It makes me feel like a saint actually."

Some viewers were unimpressed with the entire monologue, with some calling it "painful".

"These. Jokes. Are. Dire. Joanna Lumley deserves better," said one person.

"Rumours of an arrest warrant out for the writer of Joanna Lumley’s jokes at tonight’s BAFTAs. Some of those lines were criminal," joked another.

Read more: Joanna Lumley leads tributes to adored co-star June Whitfield, who has died at 93

Others defended her, however.

One person said: "Sooooo much love for Joanna Lumley! Bloody adore that woman!" while another wrote: "Joanna Lumley is such a good fit for the BAFTAs."


The Baftas took place at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Sunday night.

What did you think of Joanna's jokes? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.