The boss of Australian television subscription company branded Emilia Clarke a “short and dumpy girl”, which has sparked outrage.

Foxtel's CEO Patrick Delany made the controversial comment as he gave a speech on Tuesday at the premiere of HBO's series House of the Dragon.

The new series is a spinoff from Game of Thrones, in which Emilia, 35, starred in as Daenerys Targaryen. However, Emilia is understood to not appear in new show House of the Dragon.

The Australian TV subscription boss Patrick's comments were made as he told the audience late to start watching Game of Thrones.

Speaking at the premiere, which was held at the Entertainment Corner, Patrick said: “I was like, 'What’s this show with the short, dumpy girl walking into the fire?',” according to Crikey.

Emilia Clarke cruelly branded 'short and dumpy girl' by Aussie TV company Foxtel's CEO

An Australian TV subscription service CEO has been slammed for his comment about Emilia Clarke ( Image: AFP/Getty Images)

Emilia Clarke cruelly branded 'short and dumpy girl' by Aussie TV company Foxtel's CEO

Patrick Delany recalled the scene where Emilia's character Daenerys Targaryen walks into a burning temple ( Image: HBO® and all related programs are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.)

Patrick was recalling the famous scene in season one where Emilia's character Daenerys steps inside a burning temple.

Meanwhile, two attendees told the publication the response to the comment was cold.

One said: “It felt like he was expecting us to laugh along but people in the room were obviously shocked by it.”

Another added: “There was a bit of a gasp.”

Emilia Clarke cruelly branded 'short and dumpy girl' by Aussie TV company Foxtel's CEO

The reaction to Patrick's comment was 'cold', according to an audience member ( Image: Getty Images for FOX FOOTY)

Following the comment from Patrick Foxtel, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, has issued a grovelling apology.

They said on behalf of Patrick, who has been one of the company's top executives since January 2018: “The aim was to convey that for him, Games of Thrones was something very different for television in 2011 and that Emilia Clarke went from relatively unknown to one of the most recognised and most-loved actors in television and film.

“On behalf of Mr Delany, the Foxtel Group apologises if his remarks were misunderstood and caused any offence.”

Emilia Clarke cruelly branded 'short and dumpy girl' by Aussie TV company Foxtel's CEO

Matt Smith stars in the new Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon is an prequel to Game of Thrones, which are both based on the A Song of Ice and Fire book series by George R R Martin.

The new HBO series focusses on the 2018 novel Fire and Blood and is set 200 years before Game of Thrones took place.

It chronicles the beginning of the end of the House Targaryen and stars Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower and Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower.

Me Before You star Emilia has not reprised her role for the prequel series.

Emilia Clarke cruelly branded 'short and dumpy girl' by Aussie TV company Foxtel's CEO

Emilia Clarke has not reprised her role in the Game of Thrones prequel and instead is set to make her West End debut in The Seagull ( Image: 2022 David M. Benett)

Emilia's latest project sees her starring in a new version of the stage show The Seagull.

She is set to make her West End debut as Nina in the Anton Chkhov play, which examines the personal and professional relationships of two writers and two actors.

Emilia shared her excitement over her new role in the play, which has been adapted by Anya Reiss, as she posted a clip of it on her Instagram page.

Writing in the caption, Emilia urged her followers: “Come see this magical moment I am lucky enough to be living in. Ending 10 September.”

She added: “Plus, if you missed us on stage here’s a golden moment to see it somewhere closer to home with @nationaltheatre from 3 Nov. Our play… AS A MOVIE!”

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