Adjoa Andoh: Ofcom will not take action over ‘terribly white’ comment on ITV
Ofcom will not be taking action over actress Adjoa Andoh’s comment that the King’s Coronation was “terribly white”.
The broadcast regulator received more than 8,000 complaints about the comment, which the actress made during ITV’s coverage of the coronation.
The Bridgerton star was discussing members of the royal family on the Buckingham Palace balcony at the time.
The watchdog said viewers also objected to ITV News presenters Tom Bradby and Chris Ship referring to the remark.
Andoh said: “Looking at all those young people, there is a bit of me that has gone from the rich diversity of [Westminster] Abbey to the terribly white balcony. I’m very struck by that.”
Ofcom confirmed on Monday that her remarks were still the watchdog’s most complained-about television moment of 2023 so far.
In a statement, the regulator said: “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.”
The regulator added: “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.”
Andoh, who plays Lady Agatha Danbury in Netflix period drama Bridgerton, issued a statement in May following the backlash.
She said King Charles had made a “loving prayer, reflecting his wide embrace of the rich diverse peoples celebrating his coronation” during the service at Westminster Abbey.
She added: “Sitting in the warmth of that intentionally wide embrace, I was simply caught by the visual shift on the balcony – not a particularly original observation.
“There was no intention to upset anyone. I continue to celebrate the King who created the Prince’s Trust [charity], loves the arts, cares for all faiths and for the future of our environment, as he has done for many decades. It’s an exciting moment in our history.”
Andoh has previously appeared in EastEnders, The Bill, Casualty and Doctor Who. She also often appears as a commentator on news programmes, including BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House.