Actor and comedian Stephen Fry has made some controversial statements regarding rape and child abuse recently. While speaking to US TV host Dave Rubin about the loss of free speech he went to say that people were too sensitive to the word rape.
During the interview, Fry said: “There are many great plays which contain rapes, and the word rape now is even considered a rape. They’re terrible things and they have to be thought about, clearly, but if you say you can’t watch this play, you can’t watch Titus Andronicus, you can’t read it in an English class. Or you can’t watch Macbeth because it’s got children being killed in it, it might trigger something when you were young that upset you once, because uncle touched you in a nasty place, well I’m sorry.”
He went on to add: “It’s a great shame 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 all feel sorry for you if you stop feeling sorry for yourself — just grow up.”
It was hardly surprising that following the interview, a number of people took to Twitter to express their shock and disbelief over the comments.
One said: “Stephen Fry’s words trivialising trauma surrounding child abuse as self pity are absolutely disgusting what a horrible man.”
Another said: “I admire Stephen Fry but I am totally shocked about his comments. Total ignorance from a man who I hold in such high esteem. Very disappointing.”
What makes these comments even worse is that Fry is in fact an ambassador for mental health charity Mind. Not sure exactly what Fry was hoping to achieve with these insensitive and most inappropriate comments but I’m pretty sure Mind will be looking for a new representative very soon.
Since the interview aired, Fry has apologised for his insensitive remarks to survivors of abuse. This was part of his apology:
“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.
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.”
*frantic back pedalling*