Slavery has been one of the most heinous things in human history. Under its new campaign, The Caribbean nation of Barbados is trying to get reparations from the wealthy descendants of slave owners. And their list could also include the Oscar-nominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch. The Doctor Strange star comes from a prominent British family and one of his ancestors, Abraham Cumberbatch, was known to be a wealthy slave owner in Barbados.
This has once again put the English actor under fire for his family’s ties with slavery and fans have started discussing his future in the MCU. While some fans are defending the Marvel star, others are claiming that he should not have issues with reparations demand as it would not be too much for him.
Barbados Task Force Could Target Benedict Cumberbatch’s Family For Reparations
Barbados’s National Task Force on Reparations has been seeking reparations from wealthy institutes that made a fortune from slavery. The Hollywood star Benedict Cumberbatch also comes from a prominent British family, who has links with slavery in Barbados.
After this, the Sherlock Holmes star’s family is also expected to be targeted for reparations claim. According to a report from The Telegraph the deputy chairman of the state’s task force, David Comissiong did not deny the possibility.
He said, “This is at the earliest stages. We are just beginning. A lot of this history is only really now coming to light.” David Denny, a leading campaigner for reparations also said that any descendants of the plantation owners who benefited from slavery should be asked for reparations, including the Cumberbatch family.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s Family Links to Slavery
Benedict Cumberbatch’s ancestor Abraham Cumberbatch was known to be a wealthy slave owner in the 18th century. Abraham Cumberbatch bought the Cleland plantation in 1728. The plantation held 250 slaves.
Reports claim that the Cumberbatch family made a fortune for themselves via that plantation. After slavery was abolished, the family received £6,000 as compensation from the British government. The sum is estimated to be around $1 million currently.
The Courier star has been vocal about his family’s ties with slavery. During a 2018 interview, he said, “We have our past – you don’t have to look far to see the slave-owning past. We were part of the whole sugar industry, which is a shocker.”
Cumberbatch portrayed the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, William Pitt the Younger, in the 2006 film, Amazing Grace. He described his role in the film as a “sort of apology” for his family’s contribution to slavery.
Internet Divided Over the Subject
According to reports, Benedict Cumberbatch has earlier said that his mother advised him not to use his real name for his acting career due to the family’s links to slavery. Now that the Atonement star is expected to be targeted under the claims, fans have been discussing how this could result for him.
But he wasn’t alive then tho..why does he have to pay for his family’s disturbing past? pic.twitter.com/Y6i23V6Ygu
— Danny (@danni4pf) January 1, 2023
He is worth 40 million. The 3.5 million Barbados wants from his family is nothing to him. They donate millions to charity all the time. They can give Barbados reparations that is owed
— Ṩtͥelͣlͫⱥ (@stellah_v) January 1, 2023
He might be worth 40 million but that doesn’t mean he has 3.5 million in liquid assets to give away.
— big t 🧸 (@xovaughn) January 2, 2023
So his family built their generational wealth on the back of the slaves… Their offsprings who enjoy the wealth should pay the reparations.
— aline (@soshigeek) January 1, 2023
fair game, i think they should all pay it too! guilty by association
— ivano | we miss u 2022 (@luimacronne) January 1, 2023
they’re not claiming it’s his fault but generation wealth is literally a thing & in some way he & his family would’ve benefited from it
— s⁷✤ ia (@taesdivinity) January 1, 2023
how’s it his fault tho
— vic | #1 so it goes hater (@taylahcabello) January 1, 2023
People on social media seem divided over the Good Omens star’s role in the whole situation. While some claimed that he should not be judged for his ancestors’ actions, others claimed that he should not have issues paying off reparations as it would not be a huge amount for him.
Benedict Cumberbatch has yet not said anything regarding the claims. However, people have started discussing that this could cause issues for his MCU roles.
Source: The Telegraph