Barbados May Seek Slavery Reparations from Actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s Family

Benedict Cumberbatch on the red carpet for the 2022 BAFTAs on March 13, 2022 in London, England.
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NME

The country of Barbados may seek slavery reparations from the family of Benedict Cumberbatch, it has been revealed.

The actor has long discussed his family’s links to the slave trade, previously discussing how his ancestral story led him to take roles in the films Amazing Grace and 12 Years A Slave, both of which focused on the matter.

As reported by The Daily Telegraph, David Comissiong, a top official on the island who is involved in the national commission for reparations says that the department is in the “earliest stages” of trying to seek reparations from the Cumberbatch family.

The paper presented discussed how Joshua Cumberbatch, the seventh great-grandfather of Benedict, bought the Cleland plantation on Barbados in 1728, which was home to 250 slaves and open for over 100 years before abolition.

“This is at the earliest stages,” Comissiong added. “We are just beginning. A lot of this history is only really now coming to light.”

Benedict Cumberbatch. CREDIT: Getty / Albert L. Ortega

Last year, Rihanna was honoured as part of the celebrations surrounding Barbados becoming a republic, with president-elect Sandra Mason set to become head of state after the country announced last year it would abolish its ties to the monarchy.

Rihanna attended the declaration of the republic and inauguration ceremony for Mason in her hometown of Bridgetown on November 30. As part of the ceremony, prime minister Mia Mottley bestowed the honour of National Hero of Barbados to the singer and entrepreneur – real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty.

Last year, Cumberbatch criticised “repressive regimes” who ban films that include LGTBQ+ characters. It comes after Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness was banned in Saudi Arabia, allegedly over a 12-second scene where new character America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) references her “two mums”.

It follows Eternals being banned in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar due to a same-sex kiss scene.

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