News anchor Anderson Cooper and several of the biggest names in the LGBT world, including luminaries in gay rights advocacy, media and entertainment, are speaking out in support of innovator, war hero and one of gay history’s biggest heroes Alan Turing and The Imitation Game. Along with Cooper, figures such talk show host Andy Cohen, fashion designers Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs and leading LGBT advocacy groups GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign are some of the latest in a list of big names to speak out in an ad campaign for the film.
TWC has also created a video piece around Turing’s place in gay history and LGBT notables’ reaction to the film’s message, which can be seen here.
The community has fervently embraced the idea of honoring Turing, who was persecuted for being homosexual despite his vast accomplishments, since the movie was released; later this month, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, will honor the cast and filmmakers of the movie at the group’s New York Gala Dinner.
“As a community, LGBT people have our own family, our own stories, and our own heroes. Alan Turing is one of those heroes, and few have done more to save lives around the globe,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. “He stood alone, against unimaginable odds.”
“The Imitation Game is an incredible film that shows how hugely destructive an anti-LGBT culture can be, and an important historical perspective that preserves LGBT history,” said GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.
During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of “gross indecency,” an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality – little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing.
Famously leading a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers, Turing was credited with cracking the so-called unbreakable codes of Germany’s World War II Enigma machine. An intense and haunting portrayal of a brilliant, complicated man, The Imitation Game follows a genius who under nail-biting pressure helped to shorten the war and, in turn, save millions of lives.
Cooper, Journalist and Anchor of CNN’s AC360 said The Imitation Game is an “incredible story of injustice against a gay genius who cracked Nazi code in WWII saving millions.”
Watch What Happens Live host and executive producer Cohen echoed his colleague’s sentiments.
“There’s no telling what more Alan Turing could’ve done for the world if homophobia didn’t exist. He is one of the great unsung heroes of the Twentieth Century,” Cohen said.
Fashion Designer Kors issued a word of caution for today’s youth.
“Being different and thinking differently allowed for Alan Turing’s genius to change the world. Unfortunately, being different also ended this genius life way too soon. Imagine if his differences were celebrated, how much more he would have accomplished,” Kors said.
Another fashion designer, Jacobs, said: “I only wish to see the day when all people use their energy to celebrate others for their differences rather than persecute them for it…Thank you Alan Turing! Think different, INDEED!!!”
National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey said: “In these days of what feels like rapid progress, Alan Turing’s life reminds us that the struggle for self, for life and love remains one of humanities greatest challenges and accomplishments.”
TWC released The Imitation Game in select theaters on November 28 and nationwide on December 25. The film, which was produced by Black Bear Pictures and Bristol Automotive, has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards including Best Picture, Best Motion Picture Actor in a Drama, Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score. It was also included in the American Film Institute’s Top 11 films of the year and nominated for three Screen Actors Guild Awards. Directed by Morten Tyldum, produced by Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman, with a screenplay by Graham Moore, the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Charles Dance and Mark Strong.