Twitter users have reacted with shock and anger after Burberry’s official account posted a photo of Riz Ahmed and mistakenly named him as BAFTA winner Dev Patel. The mistake has since been corrected, but not before it was screenshot multiple times for the world to see.
Dev Patel wins the award for Best Supporting Actor
In one of the most cringeworthy gaffes the designer label has ever made, the British fashion house Tweeted their support of ‘Lion’ star Dev Patel by referencing his navy blue red carpet suit but not putting the right picture in. ‘Celebrating the #EEBAFTAs in London this evening, Best Actor in a Supporting Role Winner #DevPatel wears a Burberry custom made navy tuxedo’, they wrote, alongside a picture of… Riz Ahmed.
Many people who caught the Tweet before it was corrected blamed the error on racial ignorance, accusing them of thinking that ‘all non-white people look the same’. While this may or may not have been true for whoever was responsible for creating the Tweet, it’s also clear that Riz Ahmed is not, in fact, wearing a navy tuxedo. This makes it all the more likely that the error, while unfortunate, was simply made in such haste that the user didn’t even make time to comprehend the suit colour – let alone skin colour.
Burberry just confused @RizMC for Dev Patel because all brown people look the same? This is why we need to diversify our media. pic.twitter.com/d4iIITHNdo
— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) February 13, 2017
Nonetheless, it was no doubt an uncomfortable moment for the brand, especially after Patel’s acceptance speech about race and colour. ‘You know, I sit at home and watch this with my family, who are here with me tonight, and it’s just such an overwhelming feeling’, he said. ‘Mum, Dad, Gomul, I love you guys so much. This is a film about family, about a love that transcends borders, race, you know, colour, anything, and you guys are my driving force.’
More: Watch the trailer for ‘Lion’
‘Rogue One’ star Riz Ahmed, meanwhile, was not nominated for any awards this year. The 2018 BAFTAs will no doubt be his year following his performance in the ‘Star Wars’ spin-off.
Celebrating the #EEBAFTAs in London this evening, Best Actor in a Supporting Role Winner #DevPatel wears a @Burberry custom made navy tuxedo pic.twitter.com/pj6Fwy8XCm
— Burberry (@Burberry) February 12, 2017