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Stephen Fry criticised by charity after telling abuse victims to “just grow up”

This news post is over 5 years old

​Mental health charity wants to speak to Fry after outburst on American TV

Mental health charity Mind is reviewing its relationship with its patron Stephen Fry after he criticised victims of child abuse for wallowing in “self-pity”.

Fry made the comments during an interview on US TV show The Rubin Report, where he was asked about free speech.

During the interview Fry, an outspoken critic of what he sees as a growing social censorship, said people who wanted warnings on disturbing texts needed to grow up.

“There are many great plays which contain rapes, and the word rape now is even considered a rape,” he said. “If you say: ‘you can’t watch this play, you can’t watch Titus Andronicus, or you can’t read it in a Shakespeare class, or you can’t read 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.

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 - Stephen Fry

“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 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. Just grow up.”

Following the comments from the TV presenter who recently quit Twitter after a backlash regarding a joke he made during the Baftas, Mind said it wanted to meet with him to clarify his comments.

“Abuse is incredibly serious and can have devastating consequences for survivors, particularly for their lifelong mental health,” the charity said.

“We understand why some people may have been upset by Stephen Fry’s remarks in a recent American TV interview. Stephen was speaking in a personal context, giving his own views as part of a longer discussion on the subject of freedom of speech. We will be speaking to Stephen to discuss the concerns our supporters have raised.

“As president of Mind, Stephen Fry has done a huge amount to raise awareness and understanding about bipolar disorder and other mental health problems. He has supported Mind in our campaigning activities over the last decade and has helped enormously to change public attitudes in the UK about mental health for the better.”



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over 5 years ago
Seems to me that Stephen Fry is confusing self pity with trauma. Unfortunately abuse for many children isn't confined to a single incident. His words only serve to trivialise something which many survivors struggle to cope with for their entire lives.
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