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Stephen Fry Ditches Twitter After Backlash Over BAFTA Joke

by Matthew DeLuca /

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British actor and comedian Stephen Fry has shut down his Twitter account after facing a flurry of criticism on the social media platform for a joke he made at Sunday’s British Academy Film Awards.

“It’s quite simple, really,” Fry wrote in a post on his website explaining why he left the social media service. “The room had started to smell. Really quite bad.”

The comedian and BAFTA host made a joke about his friend, costume designer Jenny Beaven, in which he said that, “Only one of the great cinematic costume designers would come to an awards ceremony dressed as a bag lady," the BBC quoted him as saying.

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Twitter has faced some tough times recently as it faces declining usership, complaints about online abuse, and a falling stock price. The company launched a “Trust & Safety Council” on Feb. 9 cobbled together from more than 40 organizations, most of which focus on some form of harassment or bullying.

The home of 140-character min-commentary has become “a stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous who love to second-guess, to leap to conclusions and be offended — worse, to be offended on behalf of others they do not even know,” Fry wrote on his website on Monday. “It’s as nasty and unwholesome a characteristic as can be imagined.”

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