Baftas 2022: Andy Serkis hits out at Priti Patel over Ukraine refugee crisis during his speech

Serkis pokes fun at Patel by saying her debut film was called ‘Hostile Environment’

Peony Hirwani
Monday 14 March 2022 07:30

Baftas: Andy Serkis hits out at Priti Patel over Ukraine refugee crisis during his speech

Andy Serkis has slammed Priti Patel during his Baftas speech for her response and handling of Ukraine’s ongoing refugee crisis.

The 57-year-old actor and director, well known for playing Gollum in The Lord Of The Rings, poked fun at the UK home secretary a week after her office revealed only 300 visas had been issued out of a total of 17,700 family scheme applications for Ukrainian refugees to come to the UK.

The crisis had earlier been labelled Europe’s worst since the Second World War.

“A world-class director is a visionary empowered to change the world with a story that they are burning to tell,” Serkis said while introducing the award for best director.

“Bringing together and leading a huge family of supremely talented strangers on a difficult and chaotic journey, whilst hopefully creating an atmosphere that inspires inclusivity and values every single member of that family equally,” he added.

“So it is no surprise that Priti Patel on her debut feature ‘Hostile Environment’ found enormous problems,” the filmmaker quipped.

“And that her follow-up movie ‘All refugees are welcome but some are more welcome than others’ is a complete nightmare.”

Fans applauded The Batman actor for “calling out” Patel, soon after he made the comments on the UK politician.

“Kudos to Andy Serkis for giving the dig to Priti Patel in his Baftas intro,” wrote one person on social media. “Never let these f****** sleep.”

Another person added: “Andy Serkis coming in with the shade towards Priti Patel, things you love to see.”

Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

“I am so here for Andy Serkis calling out Priti Patel,” wrote another person.

Serkis also reflected on the Russian invasion of Ukraine while on the red carpet.

He told the PA news agency that it’s “important” to celebrate the arts as they hold “humanity together”.

“It’s a difficult situation having a celebration like this when such horrendous, horrific things are happening not too far away from here,” he told the PA news agency.

“But I think it’s also important that arts are celebrated because arts do hold humanity together, and actual freedom of speech and the power of storytelling is something that I think Ukrainians would totally applaud.”

So if we hold them up tonight and reflect the enjoyment and the passion back to them, I don’t think it’s a bad thing.”

On Sunday (13 March), UK prime minister Boris Johnson was urged to sack Patel over her department’s handling of the Ukrainian refugee crisis.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said Patel’s response to the “humanitarian catastrophe” had been “utterly shameful”.

Additional reporting by PA

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here.

To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in