UK celebrities criticize British government’s refugee stance
The British actress Samantha Morton has spoken out in support of action taken by her colleague, Benedict Cumberbatch, to raise awareness of the plight of refugees and the lack of appropriate response on the part of the UK government. After the curtain call following each performance of Hamlet at the Barbican in London, Cumberbatch has been making nightly speeches and asking for donations to help Syrian refugees. Morton said that the fact that Cumberbatch had been using his platform to raise public awareness was something to be ‘incredibly proud’ of, and drew parallels with Marlon Brando’s refusal to accept his Oscar in 1972 in protest over how Native Americans were being treated. Last month, over a hundred leading British cultural figures called on the UK government to take in more refugees. Jamie Oliver, Keira Knightly, Jude Law, Michael Caine and Colin Firth were among the signatories of an open statement that said Britain had a moral responsibility to offer a safe haven to people fleeing war, ‘a responsibility that should be shared with our European neighbours and not simply shouldered by the countries closest to the turbulence driving people from their homes’.
Picture: from the YouTube video below in which UK actor Benedict Cumberbatch lends his support to a Save the Children charity single raising money for Syrian refugees.
‘Samantha Morton backs Benedict Cumberbatch’s refugees appeal’, The Guardian, 30 October 2015
‘“Too little, too late”: UK cultural figures call for greater refugee intake’, The Guardian , 11 September 2015