Stephen Fry ‘apologises unreservedly’ for sexual abuse comments
Stephen Fry has apologised after he telling sexual abuse survivors to ‘grow up’ and stop ‘self-pitying’.
The actor, comedian and former QI host made the comments in a controversial interview with US TV host Dave Rubin, which was initially a broad discussion about free speech and the culture of “censorship”.
Mr Fry shifted the discussion to victims of sexual abuse, saying: “There are many great plays which contain rapes, and the word rape now is even considered a rape.
“If you say you can’t watch this play [because] it might trigger something when you were young that upset you once, because your uncle touched you in a nasty place, well… I’m sorry.
“It’s a great shame and we’re all very sorry that your uncle touched you in that nasty place, you get some of my sympathy, but your self pity gets none of my sympathy.
“Self pity is the ugliest emotion in humanity. Get rid of it, because no one’s going to like you if you feel sorry for yourself. The irony is we’ll feel sorry for you, if you stop feeling sorry for yourself. Just grow up.”
Fry was heavily criticised following his words by both fans and mental charities.
Mind, the mental health charity which Mr Fry has been President of since 2012, also disavowed the comments earlier today.
However, Fry has now attempted to explain his outburst, by releasing a statement about the interview.
“It distresses me greatly to think that I have upset anyone in the course of the TV interview I had with David Rubin the other week,” he said.
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“I of course apologise unreservedly for hurting feelings the way I did. That was never my purpose.
“There are few experiences more terrible, traumatic and horrifying than rape and abuse and if I gave the impression that I belittled those crimes and the effects they have on their victims then I am so so sorry,” he added.
“It seems I must have utterly failed to get across what I was actually trying to say and instead offended and upset people who didn’t deserve to be offended or upset.”
Fry was recently nominated for a religious broadcasting award – for a speech in which he claimed any God would be “utterly evil”.
In a viral clip, he had told Irish broadcaster RTE that if God existed, he would be “evil”, “stupid” and “a maniac”, for creating a world that is “so full of injustice and pain”.