Baftas 2022: Rebel Wilson draws cheers with Putin joke

The Russian invasion of Ukraine was mentioned in many speeches across the night

Watch live as stars arrive at the Royal Albert Hall for the BAFTA Awards

Baftas 2022 host Rebel Wilson drew cheers and applause from the audience on Sunday night (13 March) for a joke she made about Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Introducing Emilia Jones – the star of CODA, a film about a child of deaf adults – she explained that there were two interpreters on stage: one for American sign language and another for British.

She then put up her middle finger and said: “Luckily, though, in all sign languages, this is the gesture for Putin.”

The joke went down very well with the crowd, many of whom made statements of solidarity with Ukraine amid the Russian invasion of the country as they spoke to press and accepted awards.

Benedict Cumberbatch said on the red carpet that he hopes to take part in a government scheme to offer Ukrainian refugees a place to live.

“Everyone needs to do as much as they can,” he said. “There’s been a record number of people volunteering to take people into their homes, I hope to be part of that myself.”

At this year’s Baftas – which took place at the Royal Albert Hall in London – Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic Dune led the pack with 11 nominations, closely followed by Jane Campion’s western The Power of the Dog, which amassed a total of eight.

Rebel Wilson hosting the Baftas

See the full winners list here.

You can follow along with updates on the Russia-Ukraine crisis at The Independent’s live-blog here.

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.

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