The 2022 BAFTAs are being held in London tonight (March 13), and host Rebel Wilson began the night by giving the middle finger to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24 and the entertainment community has been sharing their support for the country and its people.
To open tonight’s BAFTAs, the organisation’s chairman Krishnendu Majumdar read out a speech which said (via the Hollywood Reporter): “Together with our colleagues at the Ukrainian Film Academy, we stand in solidarity and hope for a return to peace.
“We’re hugely grateful to the journalists covering Ukraine, many of whom are BAFTA members. Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine as well as those affected by other conflicts around the world.”
After Wilson discussed how Emilia Jones’ musical performance on the show would be aided by a pair of sign language interpreters, she then said: “And this is the gesture for Putin,” before raising her middle finger.
BAFTA awards. CREDIT: London Entertainment / Alamy Stock Photo
Dame Shirley Bassey opened the BAFTA Film Awards 2022 ceremony with a performance of iconic James Bond song ‘Diamonds Are Forever’.
Before the ceremony, Rebel Wilson made a playful jibe at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The Australian actor, known for roles in Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect, appeared on ITV’s This Morning in an interview with Alison Hammond.
During the interview, Hammond asked Wilson how she was feeling ahead of the BAFTAs. “I don’t know,” Wilson said. “I would say, I have presented awards at the BAFTAs and it’s gone pretty well.”
A scene from Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story was then played, showing the track ‘America’ which features the lyrics: “I like to be in America / Okay by me America”.
After the track played, Wilson joked: “Meghan and Harry’s new theme song.”
See all the winners from the 2022 BAFTAs here.