The campaign led by Benedict Cumberbatch to gain pardons for gay men who were persecuted by the state for the indecency laws of the time, has had a major setback after evidence has come out showing that homosexual men of the era were just as racist as everyone was in those days.
Recently discovered diaries of Alan Turing, mathematical genius and Cumberbatch’s’ best chance of bagging an Academy Award have suggested that Turing had the same prejudiced attitudes towards the black community as everyone else in the early 1950’s as illustrated by the following shocking extract.
“4th November 1951: Had a great idea which will solve the problem of starvation and disease for ever. Celebrated by a visit to the cottage. Coloured guy named Winston obliged me.”
Horrified by the colourful language used by Turing, campaigner Stephen Fry has already distanced himself from the pro-Turing camp.
“Whilst I have every sympathy for the plight of Alan Turing, who was no doubt nearly as clever as yours truly, there is absolutely no excuse for such indecent language,” commented the expert on virtually everything. “The use of words like ‘coloured’ is totally beyond the pale.”
Leading Harold historian, Professor Bethany Russell, tried to put the diary in the context of its time. “They were dark days when everyone was horrible to one another. So although men like Alan Turing were persecuted by society, they themselves would have almost certainly held the same racist views as everyone else. Thank God we’re a more tolerant society now.”
Last night, a representative for Benedict Cumberbatch said that the news was a setback but, undaunted, he would find another way to campaign for his Oscar.