5.9k Share this
Rebel Wilson has been branded the worst BAFTA host in history after a series of toe-curling gags, handing out bizarre golden bra awards and allowing the ceremony to descend into a ‘woke luvvie fest’ where she teed up Emma Watson so she could hammer JK Rowling – the woman who made her career.
The Australian star, 42, also referred to her own dramatic weight loss to take the chance to attack the Harry Potter author who has faced a continued onslaught of accusations of transphobia after she argued that biological sex is real.
Miss Wilson’s performance has been unfavourably compared to Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood’s 1989 gig presenting the Brit Awards, until now considered the worst hosts of a TV ceremony in British history.
Viewers were left cringing as they slammed her ‘s**t jokes’, ‘wooden performance’ and ‘dodgy links’ culminating in her handing out her own special prizes in the form of golden bras. But Lady Gaga hid her head in her hands as her boyfriend Michael Polansky was handed one.
These self-styled ‘Rebel Baftas’ went to nominees who had a high percentage of losing on the night, including one awkward moment she went to The Power Of The Dog star Benedict Cumberbatch, giving him ‘Best Actor In The Room Who Has Just Reminded Me He Is Married’ as he sat next to his wife Sophie Hunter. She also unveiled a bizarre cake of his face, which she sliced and handed out.
There were also off-colour gags about her ‘bush’, a ‘weird’ Daniel Craig leg tattoo and a joke about Will Smith, who won the Leading Actor award for his role in King Richard, causing the Royal Albert Hall audience to groan as she said his ‘best performance in the past year was being OK with all his wife’s boyfriends’ – a nod to Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s open relationship. But there was some praise for her decision to give Vladimir Putin the middle finger over Ukraine.
But Wilson was then accused of bowing to the ‘woke mob’ by using the prime time show on BBC1 to lay into JK Rowling, who was at the centre of a TV ambush involving Emma Watson, 31. Miss Wilson – best known for her role as Hermione Grainger in the film adaptations of Rowling’s books that has made reputedly her £65million ($85m) – took to the stage to present the award of Best Outstanding British Film.
When she was introduced Rebel said: ‘Here to present the next award is Emma Watson. She calls herself a feminist, but we all know she’s a witch.’ Emma then emphasised: ‘I’m here for all the witches’.
One viewer tweeted: ‘She should count her lucky stars JK Rowling stuck with her. She owes her a heck of a lot, she needs to stop biting the hand that feeds’. Another wrote: ‘Emma Watson, a woman, the feminist that can’t define what a woman is? The one that is famous because of JK?’
Rebel Wilson’s BAFTA presenting gig has not gone down well with viewers – with the audience also left groaning
Emma Wilson presented the Best Outstanding British Film but couldn’t resist having a dig at JK Rowling again
There was criticism of Watson’s intervention. One viewer tweeted: ‘She should count her lucky stars JK Rowling stuck with her. She owes her a heck of a lot, she needs to stop biting the hand that feeds’. Another wrote: ‘Emma Watson, a woman, the feminist that can’t define what a woman is? The one that is famous because of JK?’
Miss Wilson was branded the worst BAFTA host ever yesterday – a number of jokes including a Daniel Craig boob gag and leg tattoo that failed to hit the mark. It was compared to Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood’s 1989 Brit Awards disaster
Benedict Cumberbatch smiled awkwardly at a cake of his face as she sliced it and gave some to Andy Serkis
Wilson also had her own ‘golden bra’ awards to give to stars she felt should have won more on the night
Wilson was unfavourably compared to Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood’s 1989 Brit Awards disaster
Miss Wilson also took aim at JK earlier in the night, as she joked about her recent weight loss. Referring to a picture of her at the 2020 ceremony that appeared on screen, she quipped: ‘That was me two years ago and since then I’ve done quite a transformation – I hope JK Rowling still approves.’
Miss Rowling has faced a continued onslaught of accusations of transphobia since publishing an essay on her website in July 2020 in which she argued that biological sex is real.
She also revealed she was ‘a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor’. She was labelled a TERF – trans-exclusionary radical feminist – after taking issue with the term ‘people who menstruate’.
In December she was once again forced to deny that she is transphobic as she argued for sex, not gender identity, to be the ‘basis of decisions on safeguarding’.
Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Miss Watson and Evanna Lynch, who recently reunited for the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone without Miss Rowling, are among those who have condemned her.
The author previously revealed that ‘hundreds of trans activists have threatened to beat, rape, assassinate and bomb me’.
She vowed to continue speaking out after she named and shamed three activists after they posed with signs reading ‘Don’t be a cissy,’ ‘Trans liberation now’ and ‘Trans rights are human rights’ outside her house in Edinburgh in November.
Miss Watson led the red carpet arrivals as the event was back to full capacity for the first time in two years, following the Covid pandemic.
Some claimed Miss Wilson was trying to be like Ricky Gervais and failing
Miss Wilson points at the Cumberbatch cake she said was for private use back stage – as the star sat next to her initially looking confused
Rebel Wilson also handed a golden bra to Lady Gaga’s boyfriend Michael Polansky, leaving her looking embarrassed
She looked effortlessly glamorous in a statement gown with a plunging black halter-neck top and a cream tulle skirt with a train.
The Harry Potter actress said she was thrilled to be at the event at ‘a moment when we really are looking to cinema for inspiration, for joy, for hope and for escape and comfort’.
She was joined by singer and actress Lady Gaga, 35, who wowed in a plunging forest green Ralph Lauren gown perfectly hugging her figure, with a Tiffany & Co. diamond and emerald necklace.
The star, who wore her hair with a sophisticated wave, was nominated for Best Actress for her take on Patrizia Reggiani in the film House of Gucci but was beaten to the prize by Joanna Scanlan.
British star Miss Scanlan, 60, who won for her role as widow Mary Hussain in After Love, was visibly shocked as she collected her prize and told the audience: ‘Some stories have surprise endings don’t they?’
Dame Shirley Bassey opened this year’s ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall with a performance of the Bond theme Diamonds Are Forever in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the film franchise.
No Time to Die had a disappointing evening taking home just one award, despite being nominated for five, but Lashana Lynch, 34, who played new 007 agent Nomi in the film, scooped the Rising Star award.
Accepting her award, Miss Lynch, who stunned in a black Prada off-the-shoulder gown clinched at the waist, said: ‘I’m grateful for a working-class foundation that has taught me everything I need to know about failure, about noes and what noes mean and how to celebrate your yeses.’
She later added she was going to give the prize to her mother because ‘I don’t know what to do with it’.
She was joined at the ceremony by co-star Lea Seydoux, 36, who opted for a black and silver sequinned floor-length dress by Louis Vuitton.
But Bond himself was absent from the evening as Daniel Craig decided to give the awards show a miss as he prepares for a stint on Broadway later this month.
The ceremony’s host, Australian comedienne Rebel Wilson, also paid tribute to the film franchise claiming she would be playing the next 007 before revealing a tattoo of Daniel Craig on her leg.
British actress Emilia Jones, the daughter of Aled Jones, also performed at the event giving an emotional rendition of Joni Mitchell’s ballad Both Sides Now, accompanied by two sign language interpreters who signed the song in both British Sign Language and American Sign Language.
The 20-year-old – who stunned in a Grecian inspired halter neck metallic gold gown – attended the event with her mother and grandmother but her famous father was unable to join them as he is currently on tour.
Statement: The politically charged show returned after a two-year delay with host Rebel Wilson giving Vladimir Putin the middle finger, while many of the stars wore black and Ukraine ribbons in a mark of solidarity
Miss Jones had been nominated in the leading actress category for her role as a singer in the film CODA (child of deaf adults) – which was last night crowned Best Adapted Screenplay.
American actor Troy Kotsur won Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film, signing his speech with audience members sign clapping following his victory.
Throughout the evening some of those took in attendance took the opportunity to reference the situation in Ukraine, including Bafta chairman Krishnendu Majumdar who addressed the conflict in his opening speech.
He said: ‘We are hugely grateful to the journalists and filmmakers covering Ukraine, many of whom are Bafta members, who are bravely reporting and documenting the conflict and humanitarian crisis.’
He encouraged donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee, adding: ‘Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, as well as those affected by the many other conflicts around the world at this time.’
Miss Rebel Wilson, also took the opportunity to give Vladimir Putin the middle finger as she made reference to the sign language interpreters, saying: ‘luckily though in all sign languages, this is the gesture for Putin,’ as she raised her middle finger.
Benedict Cumberbatch, 45, donned a Ukrainian flag badge as he walked the red carpet in a velvet tuxedo before telling reporters on the red carpet he would like to be part of a programme taking in Ukrainian refugees.
Asked about the badge he was wearing, he said: ‘It’s all I can do tonight, is to stand by the people of Ukraine.
‘We all need to do something more than is emblematic in this. We have to actually to make great strides to continue to put pressure on our government over the refugee issue, which is happening, the wheels are turning.
‘Do what we can do to house refugees – I’m also doing what I can to do that – and also donate as much as we can to any charity that is going to be on the ground helping people cross borders or get through humanitarian corridors.
‘And continue to put pressure on Putin and his regime. It’s a badge that speaks many words and this is a cinematic event it’s about images speaking louder than words.’
Cumberbatch also stopped to talk to Just Stop Oil protestors who were chanting near the event’s red carpet, wearing t-shirts reading ‘Just look up’ in reference to the 2021 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence which offers a satirical look at the climate change crisis.
A statement from the organisation said that 30 young supporters of the campaign disrupted the event to ‘demand an end to new fossil fuel projects in the UK’.
Cumberbatch, who was joined by his wife, Sophie Hunter, 43, who wore an elegant floor length gold gown, had been nominated for Best Actor for his turn in The Power of the Dog, but he was pipped to the prize by Will Smith for his role in King Richard.
Cumberbatch still had reason to celebrate though as The Power of the Dog was awarded the prize for Best Film and its director, Jane Campion was crowned Best Director.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were not in attendance this year, however Prince William – the President of BAFTA – pre-recorded a speech for those in the audience.
He said he was ‘extremely proud to see the work that BAFTA undertakes year-round to provide opportunities and support for talented people to develop successful careers in film, games and television.’
He went on to add: ‘BAFTA hopes to inspire and support future generations from all walks of life to become the filmmakers of the future.
‘And I hope that for some of those watching these awards, that journey starts today.
‘Congratulations to all the nominees and winners. I wish you all a wonderful evening.’
Elsewhere, Normal People actress Daisy Edgar-Jones – who wore a ribbon in support of Ukraine on her aqua blue sequined gown – posed alongside her co-star Sebastian Stan, who recently played Tommy Lee in the drama Pam and Tommy.
Strictly star AJ Odudu, who hosted the BAFTA red-carpet show alongside comedian Tom Allen, opted for a daring mesh topped dress just covering her modesty, with a sequin fish tail bottom.
House of Gucci actress Salma Hayek, 55, wore a plunging purple velvet dress with a lace trim around the bust.
Actress Millie Bobby Brown, 18, looked all grown up in a black velvet mini-dress with a plunging neckline revealing a lace bandeau top and a lace train.
Rebel Wilson gave out her own special prizes in the form of golden bras during the Bafta film awards ceremony.
The Pitch Perfect star, who hosted the annual celebration of film, said she wanted to give out ‘Rebel Baftas’ as she noted most of the nominees had a high percentage of losing on the night.
She explained that while the real Bafta awards are designed in the shape of a golden mask, she had made her prizes out of her old bras that she had dyed gold.
Lady Gaga’s guest for the event won the ‘Best Plus One’ award, with Wilson noting the man had got a ‘good gig’, which sent the pop superstar into a fit of laughter.
Her next award went to The Power Of The Dog star Benedict Cumberbatch, for ‘Best Actor In The Room Who Has Just Reminded Me He Is Married’.
This came after Wilson had brought out a cake shaped like Cumberbatch’s face to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Bafta.
The Australian actress said she had personally chosen the celebratory cake to be made in homage to the actor as she wanted it later for ‘reasons she would not go into’.
Coda star Emilia Jones, 20, also received a ‘Rebel Bafta’ for the ‘Person Leonardo DiCaprio Would Find The Most Attractive In The Crowd’, as she noted the Hollywood actor ‘does like them young’.
Sir Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical film Belfast was also given one of the special bra awards, as Wilson said she thought the movie was ‘great’.
The film, which focuses on the Troubles in Northern Ireland, won the real Bafta award for Outstanding British Film
The final bra gong was given to the ‘Person With The Best Reflexes’ as she flung one into the audience.
Wilson finished her special awards segment by saying: ‘I can’t make everyone happy, I’m not alcohol, but I’ve tried.’