Actor Benedict Cumberbatch has come under fire from the Barbados government. His family could be forced to pay restitution for running a slave plantation on the island in the 18th and 19th centuries. It comes after campaigners urged Conservative MP Richard Drax to return the sugar plantation he had inherited.
Barbados became a republic in 2021 after breaking away from the British monarchy. Since then, their government has been keen to seek reparations from the descendants of early slaveholder families and plantation owners.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s seventh great-grandfather reportedly purchased the Cleland plantation in Barbados in 1798 and held title to it until slavery Repealed in 1834. The plantation is believed to have been home to 250 slaves and went on to form a small part of the Cumberbatch family fortune.
After the family was forced to close the plantation, they were awarded $11,000 in compensation, which stands at $6.4 million today.
In response to Benedict Cumberbatch’s relationship with slave owners, a netizen tweeted:
The Barbadians are now forced to fight the ancestors of the slaveholder families and seek reparations.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s mother advises him not to use real name in film industry
Benedict Cumberbatch, whose real name was Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch, was all too aware of his family’s ties to slavery. The Oscar-nominated actor has revealed in the past that his mother advised him not to use his real name in showbiz to avoid exposure of his connection to his slave-owning great-grandfather.
However, the actor seems to have come to terms with his family’s past.he played the part of the plantation owner william ford inside Movie twelve years a slave more than ten years ago. He joked in interviews that he took the job to atone for the past of his ancestors. It was “a kind of apology” to his ancestors, he said in an interview.
The Barbados government proactively sought compensation last month. They began seeking British MP Richard Drax to return the sugar cane plantations that are now the island’s main real estate.
if Barbados If successful in court, they would be allowed to seek reparations from Conservative MPs and other descendants of slavery such as Benedict Cumberbatch. David Denny, secretary general of the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, told The Daily Telegraph:
“The descendants of any white plantation owners who profited from the slave trade should be demanded compensation, including the Cumberbatch family.”
Speaking of how the Drax family reparations could be used, Danny said in an interview:
“This money should be used to turn local clinics into hospitals, support local schools, improve infrastructure and housing.”
When asked whether they would seek compensation from the Cumberbatch family, National Compensation Commission vice-chairman David Comisig said in an interview:
“It’s in the earliest stages. We’re just getting started. A lot of that history hasn’t really surfaced until now.”
Richard Drax has yet to comment publicly on the matter at hand. However, he flew to the Caribbean island in October to meet Prime Minister Mia Motley to discuss what would happen to the former plantation.
benedict cumberbatch There has been no comment on compensation at the time of writing.