Fry’s argument focused on censorship and the “deep infantilism” he perceives in today’s society. Thee discussion included mentions of the unsuccessful Oxford University petition to remove a statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes and the application of so-called “trigger warnings” to literature.
Fry remarked that many great plays contain scenes of rape and murder, including Shakespearian classics such as Titus Andronicus and Macbeth. “They’re terrible things and they have to be thought about, clearly,” Fry said, “but if you say you can’t watch this play… [because] 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. 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. Just grow up.”