HomeCelebrityWhy Benedict Cumberbatch Is Facing Legal Action Over Slave Trade Links?

    Why Benedict Cumberbatch Is Facing Legal Action Over Slave Trade Links?

    English actor Benedict Cumberbatch is currently facing legal troubles. Reportedly, the Oscar-nominated actor whose family may be subject to legal action because of their ancient ties to the Barbados slave trade. Ironically, Cumberbatch earlier played a slave owner in the Academy Award-winning 2013 film ‘12 Years a Slave.’

    So, what could happen to the Sherlock Holmes actor who’s also an active part of the MCU as Doctor Stephen Strange? Cumberbatch himself made a statement about the allegations.

    Read More: Benedict Cumberbatch Talks About How He Nearly Missed Out On Playing Doctor Strange

    Was Benedict Cumberbatch’s Family Involved In Slave Trade?

    According to news reports, the Cleland plantation in the north of Barbados which housed 250 slaves until the abolishment of slavery in 1834, was owned by Benedict Cumberbatch’s great-grandfather in 1728. The charges made against British Conservative MP Richard Drax are the foundation of the prosecution brought against Benedict and his family.

    The BBC reported in November of last year that Richard Drax was being pressured to pay penalties for his forefathers’ involvement in the slave trade. According to reports, after his father passed away in 2017, Drax reportedly acquired the Drax Hall plantation in Barbados. Reports currently indicate that this case may also have ties to Benedict’s family as the inquiry progresses.

    This is not the first time Cumberbatch has been linked to slavery. In 2014, Stacey Cumberbatch, a New York City commissioner claimed she was connected to the actor through the slave trade. Stacey revealed to the New York Times that her family was a part of Barbados plantation slaves who adopted their owners’ last names.

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    How Did Benedict Address The Slavery Allegations?

    Benedict Cumberbatch hasn’t given any public opinion on the subject so far although he has recognized his ancestry. He stated in an interview that his mother had advised him not to use his last name professionally in order to avoid liability claims.

    Furthermore, he has said, “There are lots of Cumberbatches in our former Caribbean colonies. When their ancestors lost their African names, they called themselves after their masters. Reparation cases are ongoing in the American courts. I’ve got friends involved in researching this scar on human history and I’ve spoken to them about it. The issue of how far you should be willing to atone is interesting. I mean, it’s not as if I’m making a profit from the suffering — it’s not like it’s Nazi money.”

    Will Benedict Cumberbatch Face Reparations?

    According to The Telegraph, the Caribbean Community countries were to seek compensation from the actor and his family. Social buzz was generated by reports about Cumberbatch’s potential liability claims. The information was then reinforced by a member of the Caribbean Community reparations commission.

    “To date, neither [the Caribbean Community’s reparations commission] nor Barbados has officially leveled a Reparations claim against a European family,” wrote David Comissiong, a Barbados politician, activist and member of the commission in Barbados Today.

    He continued by saying that the task force will find it simpler to concentrate on organizations like governments or businesses rather than on families. The commission has expressed dissatisfaction that recent Cumberbatch stories obscure its true reparation initiatives, such as those involving Drax.

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    Nibir Konwar
    Nibir Konwar
    Nibir is nineteen, an autumn lover, and a poetry enthusiast. She loves Taylor Swift, Jeff Buckley, Sally Rooney and everything that's blue. She has had one year of experience as a content writer at First Curiosity and writes poetry and researches on literary criticism in her free time. Nibir is also an ardent reader and a fierce feminist. She aspires to author books someday and be an advocate for mental health.

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