What if it was time for the descendants of plantation owners and slavers to make amends for their ancestors? Actor Benedict Cumberbatch could well be targeted soon.
Barbados is in the process of seeking reparations from those who grew rich and prospered through the slave trade over the centuries. The small Caribbean island, which separated from the yoke of the British Crown in November 2021, therefore intends to cash out the descendants of slavers… and among those who could well be targeted soon include the actor Benedict Cumberbatch.
The British comedian revealed to the general public by sherlock comes from a powerful family and counts among his ancestors the owner of a sugar plantation in Barbados, who exploited dozens of slaves in the 18th century. “Descendants of white plantation owners who benefited from the slave trade should pay reparations” said David DennySecretary General of the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, “and that includes the Cumberbatch family”.
An embarrassing past (and name) for Benedict Cumberbatch
It was in 2014 when the release of 12 Years A Slavea film by Steve McQueen, in which he embodies a plantation owner in Louisianathat information on the genealogy of the Cumberbatch family and especially the origin of its inheritance and its fortune had been revealed.
Additionally, Benedict Cumberbatch confessed to being tricked by his mother, actress Wanda Ventham (hold on again nepo baby !) at use another name to get started in his acting career…precisely to avoid being caught by the jacket about his family’s slavery past.
“We have our past – you don’t have to look far to see this past of slavery, we were part of the whole sugar industry, which is a shock”acknowledged the actor in 2018 in an interview with Telegram.
A British Conservative parliamentarian is already subject to reparations claims from Barbados, as well as Jamaica. Richard Drax, that’s his name, indeed owns family properties that were farms where women and men brought by force from the African continent were reduced to slavery. In case of refusal, Barbados plans to bring its request to an international court.
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Photo credit : Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
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Descendant of slaver, Benedict Cumberbatch could well have to pay damages in Barbados