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12th Jun 2024

Matt Smith praised for correcting Sue Perkins over co-star’s pronouns

Charlie Herbert

‘Absolute king of a man’

Matt Smith has been praised for gently correcting Sue Perkins during an interview in which she misgendered his House of the Dragon co-star Emma D’Arcy.

The premiere for season 2 of House of the Dragon took place in London this week, with Smith and D’Arcy both reprising their roles as Daemon and Rhaenyra Targaryen, respectively, in the Game of Thrones prequel series.

On the red carpet, Smith spoke to presenter Sue Perkins about a memorable scene from the final episode of the first series.

But Perkins incorrectly used ‘she’ pronouns to refer to D’Arcy when she told Smith that she had spoken to the non-binary actor earlier and “she gave you all the credit” for the powerful scene.

In his reply, Smith used D’Arcy’s preferred ‘they/them’ pronouns when referring to his co-star, saying: “I can’t take the credit, [but] I have to say, aren’t they brilliant?

“They are absolutely brilliant and you’re in for a real treat with Emma this year, I think Emma’s put in … a really great performance.”

Praising Smith online, one person wrote: “‘THEY are THEY are’ thank you Matt.”

Another said: “The huge emphasis he uses on ‘they’, Matt and the rest of the cast have been so lovely and respectful towards Emma, its quite great to see.”

A third added: “Bowing down to Matt who quite rightly used Emma’s pronouns, absolute King of a man.”

Perkins herself has since apologised for her error, admitting it was a “sh***y mistake.”

In a post on X, she said: “It was a shitty mistake. 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 x.”

D’Arcy has been open about their non-binary identity in the past, and has spoken about how they are a “trans-masc presenting person.”

The actor has also spoken in the past about feeling pressured to “present as a woman” in the early stages of their career in order to succeed in Hollywood.

Emma D’Arcy, who stars in House of the Dragon as Rhaenyra Targaryen, identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns (Getty)

In an interview with Them, D’Arcy said: “It wasn’t sustainable, and I stopped pretending. And weirdly at that point I got nominated for best actress for the Golden Globes [for their role in ‘House of the Dragon’], which is like beautifully ironic.”

Season 2 of House of the Dragon premieres on Sky and NOW TV on June 17.