English comedian, actor and writer Stephen Fry has quit Twitter following uproar over his comments at the BAFTAs condemning him as being sexist. On Monday afternoon, after deleting his Twitter account, he confirmed it on his blog. Fry, who has been hosting the BAFTAs since 2001, had joked that “Only one of the great cinematic costume designers would come to an awards ceremony dressed as a bag lady,” reported The Guardian.
Under the headline “Too many people have peed in the pool,” Fry said 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’s as nasty and unwholesome a characteristic as can be imagined. 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. I’ve heard people shriek their secularism in such a way as to make me want instantly to become an evangelical Christian,” he added.
He lamented that Twitter used to be for him “a secret bathing-pool in a magical glade in an enchanted forest,” but now “too many people have peed in the pool” and he didn’t want to swim there anymore.
While hosting the 69th British Academy Film and Television Art Awards or commonly known as the BAFTAs, Fry suggested that costume designer Jenny Beavan had collected her award for costume design for “Mad Max: Fury Road”while “dressed as a bag lady.”
Twitter users slammed Fry, calling him sexist. “Ok I hate Stephen Fry now using his stupid basically sexist remarks to try and make a joke … Crossing the line,” said Twitter user Charlotte Weller.
Wendy Evans even highlighted that Fry’s comments about a woman’s appearance overshadows her achievements. “Stephen Fry’s ‘bag lady’ comment was vile. Once again the achievements of a female overshadowed by comments on her appearance #EEBAFTAs,” she said on her Twitter post.
As noted by The Telegraph, Stephen Fry responded to critics following the closing of the ceremony. “So just a word to the tragic figures who think calling Jenny Beavan a bag lady was an insult. She’s a dear friend and she got it. Derrr.” Fry added a tweet to that. “Will all you sanctimonious f***ers f*** the f*** off Jenny Beavan is a friend and joshing is legitimate. Christ I want to leave the planet.”
Fry later posted a photo of himself with Beavan, with the caption “Jenny Baglady Beavan and Stephen Outrageous Misogynist Swine Fry at the #EEBAFTAs after party.”
After deleting his account, he believes that Twitter is too polluted nowadays for him to maintain his profile there, Fry said on his blog. “With Twitter, for me at least, the tipping point has been reached and the pollution of the service is now just too much.”
He added that he feels relieved now that he won’t have to use the social networking site anymore. “So I don’t feel anything today other than massive relief, like a boulder rolling off my chest. I am free, free at last.”
Fry has quit Twitter temporarily before in 2009 to 2010 then 2014 and also claimed to have been “hounded off” Instagram.