Stephen Fry has said that he is astonished that the video clip of him denouncing God as ‘utterly evil’ went viral and caused outrage in sections of social media.
The comedian and actor added that he hadn’t meant to cause offence to any particular religion, but was simply stating his opinion, an option that people have had for centuries.
Irish TV host Gay Byrne also defended Fry, saying the actor hadn’t intended to cause offence.
Fry had appeared on Byrne’s show, The Meaning of Life. He made the controversial remarks in response to Byrne’s question ‘What would you say to God at the Pearly gates?’
Fry, an atheist, said that he would confront God about all the suffering that mankind has to endure, such as children getting bone cancer. He said that only a ‘maniac’ god would create a world where such suffering exists.
The clip was viewed five million times. The comments caused a lot of online debates with many people agreeing with Fry while others believed he had got it all wrong. Many were angry with the comedian over the comments.
However, Fry told Radio 4 presenter Colin Paterson: “I don’t think I mentioned once any particular religion, and I know I didn’t say anything offensive towards any particular religion. I said quite a few things that were angry at this supposed God.
“I was merely saying things that many finer heads than mine have said for hundreds of years, going all the way back as the Greeks.
“I was astonished that it caused so viral an explosion on Twitter and elsewhere. I’m most pleased that it’s got people talking”.
“I never wished to offend anybody who is individually devout or pious, and indeed many Christians have been in touch with me to say that they are very glad that things should be talked about.”
Byrne agreed, telling the Irish Times: “Of course he hadn’t wished to cause offence. But that’s what the internet is for, controversy, debate and people’s opinions.”
Fry was speaking to Radio Four ahead of hosting the BAFTA award ceremony, which took place last night.