Stephen Fry has deleted his Twitter account after he was hounded by angry Twitterati over a joke he made during his hosting duties at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).
After Jenny Beavan won Costume Design for Mad Max: Fury Road, Fry made a joke as Beavan left the stage saying: “Only one of the great cinematic costume designers would come to an awards ceremony dressed as a bag lady”.
Twitter users (as they sometimes do) attacked Fry’s joke as being in poor taste:
— Julia W (@bakerjools) February 14, 2016
— Natalie Flynn (@Natwritesstuff) February 14, 201
Fry responded in a number of tweets, reminding people that Beavan is a close friend of his. He wrote (the tweet is now deleted): “Will all you sanctimonious fuckers fuck the fuck off Jenny Beavan is a friend and joshing is legitimate. Christ I want to leave the planet”.
He also shared a picture with Beavan, with the caption: “Jenny Baglady Beavan and Stephen Outrageous Misogynist Swine Fry at the #EEBAFTAs after party”.
Fry was also attacked for his Eddie Redmayne introduction; Redmayne was nominated for his role as one of the first known transwoman to undergo sex reassignment surgery Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl. Fry said: “He has been a man trapped in his own body, a woman trapped in a man’s body and, if I had my way, a man trapped in my basement.”
Fry released a statement on his official website, explaining his decision to leave Twitter.
“Oh goodness, what fun twitter was in the early days, a secret bathing-pool in a magical glade in an enchanted forest…We chattered and laughed and put the world to rights and shared thoughts sacred, silly and profane. But now the pool is stagnant.
“To leave that metaphor, let us grieve at what twitter has become. A stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous who love to second-guess, to leap to conclusions and be offended – worse, to be offended on behalf of others they do not even know.
“It doesn’t matter whether they think they’re defending women, men, transgender people, Muslims, humanists … the ghastliness is absolutely the same. It makes sensible people want to take an absolutely opposite point of view.
“With Twitter, for me at least, the tipping point has been reached and the pollution of the service is now just too much.”