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British TV Host Sue Perkins Apologizes for Misgendering House of the Dragon’s Emma D’Arcy: ‘S—y Mistake’

British TV Host Sue Perkins Apologizes for Misgendering HotD’s Emma D’Arcy
Emma D’Arcy and Sue Perkins. Mike Marsland/Getty Images

British TV personality Sue Perkins is sorry for her “s—y mistake.”

The former host of The Great British Baking Show presided over the London premiere of House of the Dragon season 2 on Monday, June 10, and caught some criticism online for using gendered pronouns to refer to nonbinary star Emma D’Arcy in an interview with Matt Smith.

In a clip that has gone viral on social media, Smith — who plays Daemon Targaryen, the husband of D’Arcy’s character, Rhanerya Targaryen — appeared to gently correct Perkins’ use of the word “she,” responding, “Aren’t they brilliant? They are absolutely brilliant.”

While Smith was praised by social media users for using D’Arcy’s correct pronouns — they/them — Perkins, 54, apologized for her part in the exchange via X on Tuesday, June 11.

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“It was a s—y mistake,” she wrote. “Had loads of stuff going on in my earpiece and so wasn’t as focused as I should have been. No excuses though. These things matter and I feel terrible about it. Am a massive fan of their work and would never want to be disrespectful x.”

D’Arcy has spoken in the past about their nonbinary identity, including how House of the Dragon is the first acting job that they “brought my nonbinary identity to work.”

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Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy Ollie Upton/HBO

“And part of that was because HBO asked me what pronouns I use, and I thought a lot about whether this was the right time,” D’Arcy told Interview magazine in October 2022. “The reason it’s important is that there was a point, earlier in my career, where I really worried that it wasn’t possible to be an actor if you aren’t a cisgendered person. Typically, within casting sites, there are two columns, and I wondered if those two identities were going to have to live separately in order for me to have a career.”

“The reason I decided to be honest in my presentation professionally is that I really hope that younger people who want to do this work know that there is absolutely space and that space is opening up,” the actor added.

D’Arcy has also reflected on what it means to be a nonbinary actor when it comes to awards. In 2023, they were nominated for best actress at the Golden Globes for House of the Dragon season 1.

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“When I was starting out, I really felt that I had to present as a woman in order to find success in this industry,” they told E! News in January 2023. “It wasn’t sustainable and I stopped pretending. And weirdly at that point, I got nominated for best actress for the Golden Globes, which is like beautifully ironic.”

D’Arcy added that the nomination was significant for transgender and nonbinary actors because “it implies the space for trans people and gender non-conforming people is getting bigger all the time.”

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