Benedict Cumberbatch, star of the popular BBC television series ‘Sherlock’ as well as recent Hollywood movies such as ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ and ‘The Hobbit’, was recently promoting his new film ‘The Imitation Game’ when he said something that I’m sure will cause something of a stir. Especially in the United States.
Cumberbatch was talking to interviewers from The Daily Beast about playing Alan Turing, the famous openly gay British code breaker during World War II, when he voiced the opinion that America should set its sights on electing a gay president in the future.
When talking about some of the homophobic and anti-gay views that are expressed in America he replied ‘Yes. Very homophobic. You need to have a female president next, and then after that, a gay president. That’s the full journey from Obama’s legacy onwards.’
‘There’s a great Morrissey lyric that goes, ‘In America, the land of the free, they said / And of opportunity, in a just and truthful way / But where the president is never black, female or gay, and until that day / You’ve got nothing to say to me, to help me believe’.
‘It’s quite an old song from before Obama took office, but you’ve done black, then you need to do female, then the next, gay.’
Cumberbatch has been speaking very openly and candidly on his views on homophobia and the treatment that LGBT victims face, due in part to his portrayal of Alan Turing, a man who helped to decipher coded Nazi messages during World War II but due to his homosexuality was chemically castrated and later committed suicide.
‘The scenes of Turing undergoing the chemical castration are really gut wrenching,’ the Daily Beast commented during the interview. ‘And it’s still going on in North America with the Christian far right,’ Cumberbatch responded.
‘There are courses and doctors and meds handed out to ‘cure’ people of their homosexuality, and it’s shocking that it still goes on. It’s also shocking that any time there’s any kind of hardship, the minorities are immediately scapegoated—and that includes homosexuals in Russia, the Golden Dawn in Greece. The Golden Dawn came out of a financial crisis and people wanted answers, and the minute you start stirring up nationalistic feelings, minorities are the first people to get it because they’re the easiest to scapegoat. It’s terrifying.’
Whether you agree with Cumberbatch’s views that America should follow Morrissey’s plan exactly to the letter I think that some people will feel the need to very vocally disagree. America has shown that it’s ready for a black president, but is it too early for them to accept a female or gay leader?