Rebel Wilson's Putin joke at the BAFTAs divides opinion: 'Brilliant'

BAFTAs 2022 host Rebel Wilson has divided opinion on social media after making a joke about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

While introducing Emilia Jones, star of CODA, a film about a child of deaf parents, Rebel explained that there were two interpreters on stage, one for American Sign Language and one for British.

Rebel Wilson Putin joke at the BAFTAs 2022
Rebel Wilson hosted the 2022 BAFTAs with audiences divided over her joke about Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: BBC

Putting her middle finger up, she added, "Luckily, though, in all sign languages, this is the gesture for Putin."

The joke went down very well with the audience, with many of the celebs in attendance making statements of solidarity with Ukraine after the county was invaded by Russia.


Benedict Cumberbatch even shared on the red carpet that he hopes to take part in a government scheme to take in Ukrainian refugees.

"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."

While some viewers thought Rebel's joke was hilarious, there were also some who were less than impressed.

Rebel Wilson presenting at the BAFTAs 2022
While some people loved the joke, others wished the show didn't feature any mention of politics. Photo: BBC

"Turning the BAFTAS off, "one user wrote. "The host just gave Putin the middle finger. Why must the BBC (and all media, frankly) be so utterly biased and political, constantly? It’s an awards ceremony ffs!"

"The #BAFTAs were pretty decent this year," another wrote. "Rebel Wilson was brilliant as the host. Her sign language to Putin."

"The middle finger for Putin is from everybody with common sense #BAFTAs," a third said.

"Omg the #BAFTAs are excruciatingly painful- with Rebel Wilson as host, it’s like a child has written it! Unfunny jokes, obvious royalty digs and let’s mention Putin - jeez!" someone else said.

"BAFTAS might not be everyone's cup of tea but I enjoyed the chance to laugh at political, funny and some lame jokes. PS F*** you Putin!" one user wrote.

"Rebel Wilson giving Putin the finger on the #BAFTAs made my night," another fan added.

"Watching the #BAFTAs and while the eulogy part was nice, Rebel Wilson could have mentioned all those currently affected by war worldwide, and not just Ukraine," someone else wrote. "Plus, while he may have deserved it, was it really necessary to stick the middle finger up at Putin? Keep politics out."

BAFTAs red carpet

Rebel Wilson BAFTAs 2022
Rebel stunned in both her BAFTAs looks. Photo: Getty

Rebel stunned on the red carpet, arriving at the awards in a tiered black mesh Giambattista Valli SS19 Couture dress with blue sequin detailing.

The star later changed outfits, taking the stage in a gorgeous glittering red dress.

Salma Hayek BAFTAs 2022
Salma Hayek looked gorgeous in her purple velvet gown. Photo: Getty
Lady Gaga BAFTAs 2022
Lady Gaga's gown took over 150 hours to complete. Photo: Getty
Benedict Cumberbatch BAFTAs 2022
Benedict Cumberbatch showed his support for Ukraine with his outfit. Photo: Getty

Salma Hayek stunned in a purple velvet dress with a plunging neckline with lace detailing.

Lady Gaga brought the glam in a dark green plunging Ralph Lauren gown with People reporting it took over 150 hours to create by hand and required 50 metres of velvet and taffeta to make.

Benedict Cumberbatch showed his support for Ukraine by wearing a badge featuring the colours of their flag: blue and yellow.

Daisy Edgar-Jones and Daisy Ridley BAFTAs 2022
Daisy Edgar-Jones wore custom Gucci, while Daisy Ridley brought the drama with her gown. Photo: Getty
AJ Odudu BAFTAs 2022
AJ Odudu made a statement with her dress. Photo: Getty
Emilia Jones BAFTAs 2022
CODA's Emilia Jones also stunned in her gold lamé gown by Atelier Versace. Photo: Getty

Daisy Edgar-Jones also got the plunging neckline memo, wearing a green custom-made Gucci dress for the occasion.

Daisy Ridley wore a black off the shoulder gown with a ruffled skirt.

AJ Odudu made a statement with her dress, which featured a mesh top and sequinned skirt.

CODA's Emilia Jones also stunned in her gold lamé gown by Atelier Versace.

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