• April 21, 2016

Stephen Fry criticised after suggesting that sexual abuse survivors should not 'pity' themselves

Stephen Fry criticised after suggesting that sexual abuse survivors should not 'pity' themselves

By Olivia Blair


Stephen Fry has been criticised for suggesting sexual abuse survivors should not “pity” themselves.

Fry made the comments when airing his views on free speech, religion and political correctness while appearing on US show The Rubin Report.

Speaking to host Dave Rubin, he discussed the practice of safe spaces and trigger warnings, including those that are used for plays and books which contain scenes of rape or abuse and can possibly set off traumatic memories and flashbacks for survivors of rape or abuse. They are sometimes used on university campuses.

He said: “There are many great plays which contain rapes, and the word rape is now 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 […] it might trigger something when you were young that upset you once because uncle touched you in a nasty place.

“Well I’m sorry yes it’s a great shame and we’re all very sorry that uncle touched you in that nasty place. You get some of my sympathy but your self-pity gets none of my sympathy because 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. Grow up.”

Since Youtube footage of the interview was shared on social media, people have criticised the 58-year-old for his “irresponsible” comments. Some also called out “hypocrisy” for him criticising those apparently blocking free speech with the fact he quit Twitter earlier this year after a joke he made about his friend Jenny Beavan while hosting the Baftas was received poorly on the social media site.

When asked whether he will return to Twitter, the former QI presenter said “maybe”.


This article was originally posted on Independent.co.uk on April 11, 2016

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