As if the UK’s list of heinous crimes against Ireland is not long enough already, now the country is trying to claim Oscar-nominee and Irish golden boy Paul Mescal as their own.
The BBC shared that it received over 600 complaints last week when they referred to Mescal as British actor when discussing his Oscar nomination for Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun.
The chyron at the bottom of the broadcast read, “2023 Oscar nominations: British actors Paul Mescal and Bill Nighy are nominated for leading role.” While Nighy, who received a nomination for his lead performance in Living, is in fact British, Mescal is not.
“The text should have said that Paul Mescal is Irish. We apologise for the mistake,” the BBC stated in an issued correction.
Mescal is nominated alongside his fellow Irish actors Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Barry Keoghan, and Kerry Condon—all of whom starred in Martin McDonagh’s extremely Irish film, Banshees Of Inisherin. It’s turned out to be a banner year for Ireland at the Oscars, as they’ve also just landed their first Best International Feature Film nod for The Quiet Girl.
If either Mescal or Farrell win for Best Lead Actor, they will be the second actor to take home the win for Ireland, behind dual citizenship holder and three-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis. In his speech for his first win for My Left Foot in 1989, Day-Lewis said, “You’ve just provided me with the makings of one hell of a weekend in Dublin.”
Mescal’s previously talked of his Irish heritage, and in 2020 boldly tweeted, “I’m Irish,” after he was called British in a piece published by The Guardian following his debut role in Normal People.
Last year, he talked about being Irish in Hollywood, telling GQ, “I think Irish people are incredibly proud and that’s a really nice kind of buoyant feeling and then at other times it can be like, ‘Don’t get too big for your boots.’ It’s like tall poppy syndrome. I’ve witnessed it with other Irish actors or musicians. It’s kind of ironic because the fact that I’m saying this will lead to a portion of like, Irish mammies and daddies who will be like, ‘Well, look at him off on his high horse drinking a pint in London.’”