One of the honorees at this year’s Palm Springs International Film Festival is Benedict Cumberbatch, who turned up on Sunday night to pick up the ensemble cast award for The Imitation Game and took the opportunity to give an impassioned speech about the film’s subject, Alan Turing.
As the movie shows, Turing was gay at a time when that was illegal in the UK. He helped the Allies crack some of the most fiendish German codes during World War II, with many crediting his work with shortening the conflict by two years. However in the early 1950s he was convicted of taking part in homosexual activity, chemically castrated, shunned from academia and he later killed himself.
In part he said, “Alan Turing was a war hero, he was a gay icon and he was and is the father of modern computing science. 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 confessing to who he was as a gay man in a time of intolerance in the 1950s.”
You can take a look at the speech below.
Although there have been some who feel The Imitation Game underplays Turing’s sexuality, there is little doubt about Cumberbatch’s pro-LGBT credentials, having even officiated a friend’s same sex wedding.