Sunday 25 September 2016

'I want to leave the planet' - Stephen Fry quits Twitter again over 'bag lady' backlash

Published 15/02/2016 | 15:03

Stephen Fry said he was just
Stephen Fry said he was just "joshing" when he said Bafta-winning costume designer Jenny Beavan was "dressed as a bag lady"

Stephen Fry has quit Twitter following backlash over his poorly-received "bag lady" comment at the BAFTA awards.

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The awards host was hit with abuse when he remarked of Jenny Beavan, who won the BAFTA for costume design for Mad Max: Fury Road: "Only one of the great cinematic costume designers would come to the awards ceremony dressed like a bag lady."

He deleted his Twitter account on Monday after an expletive-filled rant on Sunday night to the "sanctimonious f******" who had complained on the social media site about his comment.

Fry first explained it was a joke between friends, writing: "So just a word to the tragic figures who think calling Jenny Bevan a bag lady was an insult. She's a dear friend and she got it. Derrr."

Jenny Beavan poses after winning the award for best costume at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards at the Royal Opera House in London, February 14, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Jenny Beavan poses after winning the award for best costume at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards at the Royal Opera House in London, February 14, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

He then followed up with angrier second tweet: "Will all you sanctimonious f****** f*** the f*** off Jenny Beavan is a friend and joshing is legitimate. Christ I want to leave the planet."

Underlining his point, he shared an image of the two after the BAFTAs, captioning it: "Jenny Baglady Beavan and Stephen Outrageous Misogynist Swine Fry at the after party."

Fry was one of the most popular commentators on the social media site, with more than 12 million followers before his account was deleted.

This is the third time he has left the site, after a break in 2014 when he said he was filming in a place "whence I've been advised it is safest not to tweet", and then from February to May last year when he announced he would be "taking a holiday from Twitter".

Stephen Fry quit Twitter after a backlash over jokes he made as the host of the Baftas
Stephen Fry quit Twitter after a backlash over jokes he made as the host of the Baftas

Much like his bag lady comment, Fry's exit from the site has been met with mixed reaction.

Kristian Carter wrote: "I make this the fifth time that Stephen Fry has flounced off Twitter. Your business is being in the news. Get over yourself, Christ."

However, a supporter tweeted: "I hope the people who drove Stephen Fry off of Twitter are happy with themselves. Really didn't deserve the backlash in my opinion."

Adam Lowes asked why Fry had not simply ignored his detractors.

"It's also strange that Stephen Fry wouldn't immediately dismiss and ignore those pious folk. Their grumblings are meaningless. #BagLadyGate," he wrote.

Fans have now started a Get Stephen Back hashtag.

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