The Third Emma Thompson Controversy in As Many Weeks

Emma Thompson has clearly taken Russell Brand‘s place as the primary piss-taker in the UK press. We won’t outline the furors in which the two-time Academy Award winner has become embroiled in the past two weeks – you can read about them here and here – but last week she managed to enrage a whole island. (Or at least a couple of people from that island.) On last Thursday’s The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Emma joked that homosexuals were stoned and Irish and Scottish people can be shot on the Isle of Wight, an island off the southern coast of England. And Isle of Wight Council leader David Pugh isn’t so happy about her jest, releasing this statement:

“It’s a great shame that someone with her profile should make such ridiculous claims.

“Presumably Emma Thompson made these comments to get some laughs on the chat show.

“Her claims are ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and as outlandish as some of the fiction in the Harry Potter films she has been working on.

“If there was a Golden Globe Award for Best Fictional Claims on a Chat Show, Emma Thompson would win it hands down.”

How wonderfully bitchtastic! This dude needs a job at the Daily Mail!

The Daily Mail itself notes that Emma was likely confusing the Isle of Wight with the Isle of Man, which only legalized homosexuality within the past 20 years.

Check out a clip of the Late Late Show interview (which is absolutely hilarious – she needs her own comedy series, this woman). The offending section happens around 8:20, where Craig tells Emma that he’s going on vacation on the California coastal island of Catalina.

Craig: “It’s kind of like the Isle of Wight.”

Emma: “Oh so they stone homosexuals there?”

Craig: “Yes!”

Emma: “Nice.”

Craig: “Do they stone homosexuals on the Isle of Wight?”

Emma: “I think they are still allowed to flog them….”

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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