Stephen Fry has spoken out about his decision to quit Twitter, saying he ‘doesn’t feel anything other than massive relief’ and that he is ‘free at last’.
He posted an explanation on his official website in a piece titled: Too Many People Have Peed in the Pool.
He quit the social media site following a backlash over his ‘bag lady’ comment at the Bafta awards.
Stephen Fry (Chase Rollins/AFF/EMPICS Entertainment)
The awards host was hit with abuse when he commented on Jenny Beavan, who won the Bafta for costume design for Mad Max: Fury Road, and her outfit after she had collected her Bafta.
He said: “Only one of the great cinematic costume designers would come to the awards ceremony dressed like a bag lady.”
Confirming that he had deleted his Twitter account, the QI presenter wrote it was ‘no big deal’ and hinted that his departure from the social networking site may not be permanent.
He wrote: “I like to believe I haven’t slammed the door, much less stalked off in a huff throwing my toys out of the pram as I go or however one should phrase it. It’s quite simple really: the room had started to smell. Really quite bad.”
The actor and presenter reminisced about early days on Twitter and used a pool analogy as he described its decline from ‘a secret bathing-pool in a magical glade’ to a stagnant pool that is ‘frothy with scum, clogged with weeds and littered with broken glass, sharp rocks and slimy rubbish’.
Jenny Beavan on stage with her Bafta (Jonathan Hordle/REX Shutterstock)
Stephen, who has presented the awards show for more than 10 years, expressed the view that Twitter had become a ‘stalking ground’, and pointed out that no matter what was being defended, the ‘ghastliness is absolutely the same’.
Near the end of his musings, he said despite the minority of ‘foul people’ on Twitter, he felt his tipping point had been reached.
He wrote that ‘just one turd in a reservoir is enough to persuade one not to drink from it. 99.9% of the water may be excrement free, but that doesn’t help’.
The end of his post explained his feeling of relief, ‘like a boulder rolling off my chest’.
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.
Stephen first explained it was a joke between friends, writing: “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.”
Stephen at the Baftas last year (Ian West/PA)
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.”
He was a popular commentator 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’.