Stephen Fry deletes Twitter account after ‘bag lady’ Bafta row

Stephen Fry has deleted his Twitter account after a joke he made at last night's (14 February) Bafta award ceremony went down badly on the social network.

The popular presenter and actor, who has hosted the event since 2001, jokingly called the costume design award-winner Jenny Beavan a ‘bag lady’ after she collected the award for her work on Mad Max: Fury Road.

Following Beavan’s acceptance speech, Fry quipped: "Only one of the great cinematic costume designers would come to the awards dressed like a bag lady."

Many viewers, including Glamour editor Jo Elvin (see below) and showbiz journalist Beth Neil, failed to see the funny side and let Fry know about it on Twitter.

The Bafta host then hit back in number of posts, reminding his critics that Beavan is a close friend and was in on the joke. He posted: “Will all you sanctimonious fuckers fuck the fuck off Jenny Beavan is a friend and joshing is legitimate. Christ I want to leave the planet”.

He continued to argue with people during the night while retweeting the support of others. He also tweeted a picture of himself and Beavan at the event along with the caption: "Jenny Baglady Beavan and Stephen Outrageous Misogynist Swine Fry at the #EEBAFTAs after party."

However, Fry, clearly upset by the reaction to his joke announced that he has quit the site. He explained that while he has not “slammed the door” on Twitter, it has become a “stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous”.

He posted a statement on his official site that reads (see above): “"I like to believe I haven't slammed the door, much less stalked off in a huff throwing my toys out of the pram as I go or however one should phrase it.

"It's quite simple really: the room had started to smell. Really quite bad."

It is the second time that Fry has quit Twitter. In 2014 ,the actor stopped using the site temporarily due to safety concerns. Prior to that, he threatened to leave the site in 2009 over what he said was “too much aggression and unkindness”.

Fry had more than 12 million followers on Twitter at the time he left Twitter.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.