Benedict Cumberbatch points at Turkey, Russia, Greece for LGBT rights violations
Oscar hopeful Benedict Cumberbatch is pleased about the attention his latest movie brought to legendary mathematician Alan Turing's personal story, but also warns that "same minorities are prejudiced and punished" as in the legendary mathematician's time, particularly in Turkey, Russia and Greece.
In the Oscar-nominated film "The Imitation Game," the British actor leads as Alan Turing who took part in a code-breaking operation targeting the Nazis’ infamous Enigma encryption machines.
Cumberbatch, who was nominated in the Best Actor category of the 87th Academy Awards that is scheduled to take place on Feb. 22 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, spoke to daily Radikal correspondent Aida Takia O’Reilly on Nov. 15, 2014.
When asked about the on-screen note at the end of the movie that reminded the posthumous royal pardon for Turing's 1952 conviction for homosexuality, the British actor said: "I would be very careful about expressing my feelings on that front, but needless to say, the only person who should be offering any kind of forgiveness, is Alan Turing."
After stressing that Turing "didn't even promote his own work," Cumberbatch said he is happy about any attention brought to the mathematician's personal story which echoes today. "... it’s not just a history lesson sadly because we see it anywhere that there is nationalism, that the same scapegoats are found, the same minorities are prejudiced and punished," he said, singling out Turkey, Russia and Greece.
"But it seems to be part of human nature when we form an idea of identity and nationality that is definitive, that anything that deviates from that is seen as being abnormal, is immediately restricted, clamped down or punished," Cumberbatch added. He also noted that "homosexual men are still punished in certain parts of the world" because of the prejudices that Turing once faced."
A petition calling for the 49,000 gay men prosecuted in the United Kingdom to be pardoned has garnered almost half a million signatures. Cumberbatch had also signed the petition and actively campaigned for it.