Benedict Cumberbatch: Alan Turing was a gay icon

Wed. January 7, 2015 7:03 AM by

Benedict Cumberbatch praised the accomplishments of Alan Turing while accepting an award for The Imitation Game at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

In the film, the 38-year-old Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness, 12 Years a Slave, August: Osage County) plays Turing, a brilliant mathematician who helped crack the German Enigma machine code – a triumph of computer science and a turning point for the Allies in World War II. After Turing acknowledged that he was gay, the British government sentenced him to two years of chemical castration. Turing is believed to have committed suicide.

Cumberbatch accepted the festival's ensemble cast award on behalf of his The Imitation Game co-stars and dedicated the award to Turing.

"Alan Turing was a war hero, he was a gay icon and he was and is the father of modern computing science," Cumberbatch said in accepting the award.

"He is a man who died tragically early due to a government that he helped free from fascism by his work in the Second World War in cracking the enigma code; rewarding him for his nature, for quietly confessing to who he was as a gay man in a time of intolerance in the 50s."

"He knew when he said that he was a gay man that he would face prosecution," he added.


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