Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Stephen Fry: How Very Interesting

The Daily Mail has got the scoop that Stephen Fry has left his lover of 14 years, Daniel Cohen, and is now stepping out with one Steven Webb.
"Stephen Fry dumps long-term partner for young actor as love life becomes Quite Interesting"
He didn't actually "dump" him for someone else, they' already split up, but let us proceed.
"...According to pals, Fry has made no secret of the collapse of their romance and has, I gather, been spending a lot of time with ­aspiring young actor Steven Webb, 26, who appeared in Alan ­Bennett’s acclaimed play The History Boys at the National Theatre."
The Mail must feel rather - as our American friends might say - conflicted about this story.
Their - mostly female - readership are probably quite keen on a bit of top-notch showbiz gossip like this, and want to hear about the blossoming romance, especially involving as it does a man many Mail readers regard as "a national treasure".
So it's nice to see it broke the news gently and reported it so matter-of-factly - it's even possible the story has been placed with Fry's consent.
Or is it?
Stephen Fry led the Twitter campaign last year complaining about Jan Moir's now infamous piece in the Mail about Stephen Gately; 'A Strange, Lonely and Troubling Death...'
Fry called it "a beastly article" an "epically ill-judged piece of gutter journalism" full of "malice, stupidity, incoherent illogicality and crass insensitivity."
Fry had helped unleash what he himself eloquently described as a "shitstorm that howled about the head of Jan Moir."
Good for him.
Moir's piece argued that Stephen Gately's death told us something was rotten in the heart of all gay relationships.
Do you remember?
"Another real sadness about Gately's death is that it strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships," she wrote.
"Gay activists are always calling for tolerance and understanding about same-sex relationships, arguing that they are just the same as heterosexual marriages. Not everyone, they say, is like George Michael.
"Of course, in many cases this may be true. Yet the recent death of Kevin McGee, the former husband of Little Britain star Matt Lucas, and now the dubious events of Gately's last night raise troubling questions about what happened.
"It is important that the truth comes out about the exact circumstances of his strange and lonely death.
"As a gay rights champion, I am sure he would want to set an example to any impressionable young men who may want to emulate what they might see as his glamorous routine.
"For once again, under the carapace of glittering, hedonistic celebrity, the ooze of a very different and more dangerous lifestyle has seeped out for all to see."
The Press Complaints Committee received a record number of complaints, 25,000.
And Jan Moir became a hate figure overnight, a synonym for mean-spiritedness and anti-gay prejudice.
I know - how unlike a Daily Mail columnist.
She was even given a special Stonewall Award for Bigot of the Year "following unprecedented requests from Stonewall supporters".
Perhaps The Daily Mail article today on Stephen Fry's new friend is a sign that the newspaper may have learned a lesson from the Jan Moir shitstorm.
Perhaps we are witnessing Stephen Gately's revenge?

1 comment:

  1. I hate the Daily Mail. I hate how they covered Stephen Gately's death. I and many other gay men will NEVER buy it again.

    With regard to Stephen Fry: This kind of story concerns me. Firstly, they might not be a couple. Secondly, we dont know if young Steven is gay. And thirdly and most important, if Steven is gay do the journalists know if this story has outed him – potentially causing personal worries for him and family. Not all 26 year old gay men are out to their family.