‘I feel terrible about it’: Sue Perkins apologises after misgendering House of the Dragon’s Emma D’Arcy

Sue Perkins has apologised after accidentally misgendering House of the Dragonstar Emma D’Arcy during a red carpet interview.

The former Great British Bake Off host, 54, was speaking to actor Matt Smith at the premiere of the show’s second season when she referred to 31-year-old D’Arcy, who identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, as “she”.

Smith, who plays Daemon Targaryen in the Game of Thrones prequel series, subtly corrected Perkins, telling her: “I have to say, aren’t they brilliant? They are absolutely brilliant and you’re in for a real treat with Emma this year.”

A video of the pair’s exchange was shared on social media, with fans praising Smith, 41, for his handling of the situation.

Perkins later addressed the incident in a post on X/Twitter, admitting that she felt “terrible” as she “would never want to be disrespectful” to the actor.

“It was a s***ty 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.”

Emma D’Arcy stars as Rhaenyra in ‘House of the Dragon’ (HBO)
Emma D’Arcy stars as Rhaenyra in ‘House of the Dragon’ (HBO)

When one social media user asked whether she would be apologising directly to D’Arcy too, Perkins responded with: “Of course I will.”

The second series of the fantasy spin-off is set to air on Sky Atlantic on 17 June, with D’Arcy reprising their role as Rhaenyra Targaryen, the grieving “Black Queen” who is seeking vengeance after the death of her son.

In a review of the upcoming season, The Independent hailed D’Arcy’s performance as “harrowed and compelling”.

The actor has previously opened up about feeling pressured to hide their gender identity at the beginning of their acting career. “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 2023.

“It wasn’t sustainable, and I stopped pretending,” they said. “And weirdly at that point, I got nominated for Best Actress for the Golden Globes, which is beautifully ironic.”