Ofcom will not be taking action over a comment by Bridgerton star Adjoa Andoh about the Buckingham Palace balcony being “terribly white” during coverage of the coronation, the watchdog has said.
The 60-year-old actress made the comment during ITV’s live coverage of the King’s coronation celebrations on 6 May as the King and Queen appeared with their family to wave at the public.
Andoh, who plays Lady Agatha Danbury in the Netflix show, said: “Looking at all those young people, there is a bit of me that has gone from the rich diversity of the Abbey to the terribly white balcony. I’m very struck by that.”
Ofcom released a statement today saying: “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.
“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.”
It also said: “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.”
The watchdog also said viewers objected to ITV News presenters Tom Bradby and Chris Ship referencing Andoh’s remark.
Image: Adjoa Andoh attends The Women in Film and TV Awards at the London Hilton Park Lane, central London. Picture date: Friday December 2, 2022. Following her comments, Andoh appeared on BBC Radio 4 to clarify what she meant and issued an apology.
Acknowledging the backlash she received, Andoh told host Pady O’Connell on Sunday: “I think I upset a few people yesterday.
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“I was talking about the day and how marvellous it was and then looking at the balcony at the end and suddenly went, ‘Oh, it’s so white’ because the day had been so, so mixed and I didn’t mean to upset anybody.”
The King’s coronation service at Westminster Abbey was watched by 18.8 million viewers in the UK, according to overnight ratings released by the research organisation Barb.