A Sky News report about the announcement of the BAFTA nominees has caused outrage on Twitter as a reporter referred to Irish actress Saoirse Ronan as British, saying “we can take Saoirse Ronan as one of ours”. Ronan, who was born in New York to Irish parents and grew up in Carlow, has been nominated for the Best Actress award at this year’s BAFTAs for her role in Brooklyn.
— shane smith (@shanesmith32) January 8, 2016
During the report on Sky News about the upcoming awards ceremony, the journalist, Richard Suchet, said: “If we look at the leading actress category, I think we can take Saoirse Ronan as one of ours. She’s in Brooklyn, she’s nominated.”
Following the incident, Twitter erupted with people complaining about the faux pas.
— RTÉ TEN (@RTE_TEN) January 8, 2016
@SkyNews – Saoirse Ronan isn't British, she's Irish. So kindly flip off back to Geography class and stop claiming ours as your own.
— ParrysGhost (@ParrysGhost) January 8, 2016
— Phádraig Ó Madaidhin (@pmadden757) January 8, 2016
Suchet responded by saying that British people will be “willing her to win” as she is from the “British Isles”. However Suchet, who’s a nephew of well known actor David Suchet (Poirot), may have opened up another diplomatic can of worms with the use of that much maligned term.
— Emma Wheatley (@EmmaAWheatley) January 8, 2016
Parents are Irish. She has lived in Carlow, in Ireland, since she was 3. Has an Irish name. But ain't Irish? Ok. https://t.co/2Pgr2rP22r
— Weddle The Storm (@padraighk) January 8, 2016
This isn’t the first instance of Irish talent being labelled as British, with Ronan finding herself nominated for British Actress of the Year by the London Film Critics’ Circle back in December. Fellow Irish stars Michael Fassbender and Colin Farrell were shortlisted by the Circle for British Actor of the Year, with Emma Donoghue given the nod for Breakthrough British Filmmaker of the Year. Brooklyn was also listed in the British Film category.
Want to know how to pronounce Saoirse? Ire-ish. Easy.
— Damien O'Connor (@ratskins) January 8, 2016
Twitter and social media quickly went into meltdown and after enough outrage at the slight was generated, there was a hasty re-labelling of the categories with the word ‘Irish’ included in the category titles.
On the LFCC website, a post aimed to pre-empt any outrage. It reads: “There is no intention to suggest that Irish talent is British should an Irish citizen be nominated in the ‘British’ categories and all Irish nominees know this. It simply recognises the complex nature of film making, a collaborative affair often crossing national boundaries.” Indeed!
Today, powered by its readers and contributors, from its cyber eyries in Ireland and the centres of the Irish Diaspora The Eagle casts its Cold Eye on Life and Death and much in between.