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Backlash as Stephen Fry tells child abuse victims: Stop feeling sorry for yourself

Fry said 'self pity is the ugliest emotion in humanity'. Credit: PA

Stephen Fry has been criticised for saying child abuse victims should stop feeling sorry for themselves.

The comedian and actor said "self-pity is the ugliest emotion in humanity" and that people needed to "grow up".

The former QI host made the remarks while appearing on US show The Rubin Report.

The 58 year old 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, 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.

“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.”

His comments sparked a social media backlash, with some Twitter users describing him as a "hypocrite" and insensitive.