The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, on Saturday honored The
Imitation Game with an Ally for Equality Award at its annual Gala
at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
In the Oscar-nominated film, Benedict
Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness, 12 Years a Slave, August:
Osage County) plays Alan 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
the war, he was sentenced to two years of chemical castration under
the British law for “gross indecency” – which was overturned in
1967 – for acknowledging that he was gay.
Co-star Matthew Goode, director Morten
Tyldum, producers Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky and Harvey
Weinstein were on hand to accept the honor. Cumberbatch recorded a
video for the event.
In presenting the award,
actor-photographer Joel Grey, who
publicly came out gay last week, read a passage from Larry
Kramer's play The Normal Heart: “Did you know that it was an
openly gay Englishman who was as responsible as any man for winning
the Second World War? His name was Alan Turing. … Why don't they
teach any of this in the schools?”
“We have come a long way,” Grey
said, “but we must never forget our past or our heroes. Today,
Turing's vital story is finally being told.”
Goode said that the film's entire team
was “incredibly moved and humbled to be receiving the Ally for
In his recorded message, Cumberbatch
dedicated the award to Turing's memory.
The Imitation Game “gave us an
opportunity to celebrate a man whose heroism and brilliance and
achievements were overshadowed by a cruel conviction and even more
horrific punishment in an intolerant era,” Cumberbatch said.
(Video from this event is embedded on
this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)