Queer icon Ayo Edebiri’s hilarious reaction to Prince William’s BAFTA gaffe goes viral

Prince William with Sophie Wilde, Phoebe Dyvenor, Ayo Edebiri, and Mia Mckenna-Bruce at the BAFTAs

At the BAFTAs over the weekend, Prince William made a pretty major blunder when talking about a harrowing new film, and the ensuing reaction has been captured for all eternity.

The film in question was How To Have Sex, which follows a virgin named Talia who goes on holiday with friends to the Greek island Malia where she is then raped by a fellow tourist.

Talia is played by Mia McKenna-Bruce, who won the Rising Star award at the BAFTAs.

While speaking to McKenna-Bruce, who had been praised for her role in the intense film, Prince William made a bit of a mistake in saying that the film looked “fun”.

He said: “I haven’t yet watched your film – I think it looked like you had a lot of fun all the way through.”

Prince William was also standing with fellow Rising Star Award nominees, Phoebe Dynevor, Sophie Wilde, and The Bear star Ayo Edebiri – and it was Edebiri’s apparent reaction to his comment that captured the internet.

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Edebiri’s face spoke a thousand words in the photograph, and while it’s not clear that her reaction was specifically timed to coincide with the Prince’s gaffe, many people on X (formerly Twitter) took it that way due to her shocked expression.

One X user made the image go viral after posting: “I am simply begging you all to look at this photo of Ayo Edebiri meeting Prince William at the #BAFTAs.” The post has been viewed over six million times, and quickly became a meme.

Prince William also said: “I’ve got a lot of films to catch up on. Normally I get quite ahead of the award ceremony and I get to see quite a few of them. I haven’t managed to get that many through, so now I’ve got a good old, I’ve got a list today,” and Edebiri smiled and clapped as he walked away.

Lisette Titre-Montgomey, a BAFTA-nominated computer game art director, replied to the initial viral tweet by writing: “The face everyone else makes when he randomly admits he ‘dated a Black girl once’.”

Others just posed tweets that celebrated her very relatable, shell-shocked response:

Many of the comments also joked about Edebiri’s alleged Irish heritage and the hilarious nature of someone who is Irish meeting a member of the British Royal Family – but Edebiri’s not actually Irish, even though she has been ‘claimed’ by Ireland.

One said: “That Irish traditional suspicious look Ayo is giving when meeting the British royals.”

Another said that everyone in the group looked “alarmed” but it was Edebiri’s blatant facial expression that was really “sending” them.

While discussing her role as lesbian character Josie in Bottoms, Edebiri told Refinery29 that she identifies as queer. “It’s radical that I get to be like a young Black queer person doing something stupid in a movie,” she said.

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