U.K. media regulator Ofcom has confirmed it will not investigate comments made by “Bridgerton’s” Adjoa Andoh during the coronation of King Charles III last month.
Andoh, who plays Lady Danbury in the Netflix hit and its spin-off “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story,” described the Royal Family’s appearance on Buckingham Palace balcony “as terribly white.”
“We have gone from the rich diversity of the Abbey to a terribly white balcony,” she said, referring to the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, which included a performance from a gospel choir as well as representatives from all of Britain’s major faiths. After the ceremony, the royals made their customary appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to wave to the thousands of well-wishers below.
Andoh was among a number of commentators who were interviewed by anchors Tom Bradby and Julie Etchingham during ITV’s broadcast of the coronation on May 6. Her comments attracted 8,371 complaints to Ofcom, who said they would “assess” the criticism.
The actor later explained her meaning on BBC radio, saying she hadn’t intended to upset viewers. “I think I may have upset a few people yesterday,” she said. “I was talking about the day and how marvellous it was and then looking at the balcony at the end and suddenly going, ‘Oh it’s so white!’ because the day had been so mixed and I didn’t mean to upset anybody.”
On Monday morning, the media regulator confirmed it would be taking no further action.
“We have concluded our assessment of complaints we received about a comment made during ITV’s coverage of the coronation of King Charles III, and can confirm we will not be pursuing these further,” Ofcom said in a statement. “We received 8,371 complaints from viewers about a comment made by actress Adjoa Andoh during the live broadcast, which focused on the appearance of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.”
“Complainants also objected to references to the comment made by ITV News presenters Tom Bradby and Chris Ship. While we understand some viewers had strong feelings about this comment, after careful consideration we have concluded that the comment was a personal observation which was part of a wide-ranging panel discussion which also touched on other diversity-related topics, and which contained a range of viewpoints.”
“Our decision to not pursue these complaints further also takes into account broadcasters’ and guests’ right to freedom of expression.”