Culture Street

Benedict Cumberbatch, star of The Imitation Game, has asked for ordinary men to be given the same official pardon as Alan Turing, who was prosecuted for gross indecency in 1952. Cumberbatch has the backing of his co-star Allen Leech, broadcaster Stephen Fry and the Turing family.

Turing helped win the Second World War by developing machines to decipher the Enigma codes but died in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning. An inquest determined his death a suicide.

He was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts, when such behaviour was still criminalised in the UK. He accepted treatment with oestrogen injections as an alternative to prison. In 2009 British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official apology on behalf of the British government for "the appalling way Turing was treated". Queen Elizabeth II granted him a posthumous pardon in 2013. An estimated 49,000 other homosexual men were convicted under the same law.

An open letter addressed to Her Majesty’s Government appeal to “young leaders” and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the convictions to be overturned.

"It is up to young leaders of today including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to acknowledge this mark on our history and not allow it to stand.”

The BBC reported that a spokesman for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said it was a matter for government and they would not make any public comment.

Cumberbatch told Hollywood Reporter:
"Alan Turing was not only prosecuted, but quite arguably persuaded to end his own life early, by a society who called him a criminal for simply seeking out the love he deserved, as all human beings do.
“Sixty years later, that same government claimed to ‘forgive’ him by pardoning him. I find this deplorable, because Turing’s actions did not warrant forgiveness — theirs did — and the 49,000 other prosecuted men deserve the same."

You Might Also Like

Film

Film Review: American Sniper

By Sophia Whitfield

On January 20, 2015

Film

First look at Burnt starring Bradley Cooper

Our day just got better. Bradley Cooper's new movie Burnt has us counting the days until its release. Cooper as an enfant terrible? We can't wait.

On October 1, 2015

Film

Oscar Nominations 2015

The 87th annual Academy Awards have been announced. Leading the field is Birdman,The Imitation Game, Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel. They all received nominations for Best Director and Best...

On January 16, 2015
 

Film

First look at Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs

Based on Walter Isaacson's best-selling biography of the Apple Founder, Steve Jobs is directed by Academy Award® winner Danny Boyle and written by Academy Award® winner Aaron Sorkin (The West...

On July 2, 2015

Film

Megan Fox and her rise to fame

Megan Fox plays April O’Neill, intrepid reporter and friend of the turtles, in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles based on the iconic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic books. Teenage Mutant...

On September 10, 2014

Film

Jack Reacher 2 begins

Paramount has announced that principal photography has begun on the second Jack Reacher film. Never Go Back starring Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible franchise) will be released in October 2016. Filming...

On October 21, 2015
 
Copyright © 2012 - 2019 Culture Street
Contact: info@culturestreet.com.au