The former QI host argued that, while he thought free speech was “important”, it shouldn’t be the end goal.
“Do you know, what I’ve wanted to do is go on one of those – doesn’t Piers Morgan do something, is it GB News he does, or one of those things?” he asked Dragons’ Den star Steven Bartlett on his podcast The Diary of a CEO.
Morgan currently hosts the series Piers Morgan Uncensored on the right-wing news channel TalkTV.
Fry continued: “I’ve sort of wanted to go on – now, you’ll have to hold your ears – and say, ‘Hello, how are you, you old c***? It’s f***ing great to see you, you c***y, c***y, c*** c***.’ And him to go, ‘Sorry, you can’t say that.’ ‘Oh, I thought this was home of free speech, isn’t it? I thought this was the f***ing home of c***ing free speech, isn’t it?
“But it isn’t. Oh, so free speech is negotiable so there are bits that you can’t say and bits that you can because that’s the point. I mean, free speech is, of course, important but it’s not the end point.”
Fry added: “The end point is human beings living together in peace and harmony and happiness as much as possible, without war and violence and envy and resentment and bitterness… that’s the end point.
“But for some people, free speech has become the end point. ‘I want to live in a society where people can say anything… the only thing that matters is I can say what I want.’ I don’t think that’s what John Stuart Mill and all the original thinkers who wrote on liberty and free speech meant and I don’t think it’s what I mean as the be all and end all.”
Fry’s comments on free speech come less than a month after the actor said that, while some of his friends had been “deeply upset” by JK Rowling’s comments about transgender people, he “wouldn’t abandon” the Harry Potter author.
“I know that JK Rowling doesn’t want to see trans people bullied, alienated, shut out of society, made to feel ashamed, guilty, laughed at, all those things,” he said.
“It’s not an argument I want to get involved in, because it’s upsetting to both sides.”