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
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,”
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.