The comedian said costume designer Jenny Beavan is a 'dear friend' of his, adding that "joshing is legitimate"
Stephen Fry appears to have deleted his Twitter account after being criticised for calling the winner of the BAFTA award for costume design a "bag lady".
Jenny Beavan, who won the prize for Mad Max: Fury Road, wore trousers, a leather jacket and a scarf to the star-studded ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden.
As she walked off stage with the BAFTA, the event's host Fry said: "Only one of the great cinematic costume designers would come to an awards dressed as a bag lady."
The comedian and actor later tweeted: "So just a word to the tragic figures who think calling Jenny Beavan a bag lady was an insult. She's a dear friend and she got it. Derrr."
However, some viewers appeared to find the joke distasteful.
One person wrote on Twitter: "Surprised by @stephenfry's bag lady quip. A joke between friends, fair enough, but to unsuspecting viewers came across a bit mean. #EEBAFTAs."
Another said: "Bit rich of Stephen Fry to slag that woman's outfit off and say she looks a bag lady when he's dressed as a pool table #EEBAFTAs."
Fry reinstated his point by tweeting a picture of the pair at the BAFTA after-party.
He added: "Will all you sanctimonious f****** f*** the f*** off Jenny Beavan is a friend and joshing is legitimate. Christ I want to leave the planet."
Some Twitter users defended Fry.
One said: "@stephenfry Why do people take offence when it is absolutely clear for you to make that joke you would have known how it would be received!"
Another wrote: "@stephenfry So people are outraged that a comedian made a joke? I'm outraged they were outraged."
A search for Fry's account later on Twitter showed it had been removed and a message stating: "Sorry, that page doesn't exist!"
Fry has deleted his Twitter account several times before.
The last time was in February 2015, when he left the social media site until May without saying why.