April 18, 2024
Disney and Marvel star Benedict Cumberbatch is under investigation in Barbados for historical links to slavery at a sugar plantation in the small island nation.

Disney and Marvel star Benedict Cumberbatch is under investigation in Barbados for historical links to slavery at a sugar plantation in the small island nation.

The Caribbean nation may demand that Cumberbatch’s family pay reparations for slavery connected to his great-grandfather’s purchase of a plantation in 1728, according to the Telegraph.

LA Premiere of "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness"
Benedict Cumberbatch arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” on Monday, May 2, 2022 at El Capitan Theatre.
(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Images)

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The Doctor Strange actor’s legal issues are reportedly connected with a campaign by Barbados’s National Task Force on Reparations seeking reparations from the descendants of onetime plantation and slave owners.

“This is at its earliest stages. We are just beginning,” said David Comissiong, Barbados’s deputy chairman of the national commission on reparations. “A lot of history is only really now coming to light.”

David Denny, the general secretary of the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, added: “Any descendants of white plantation owners who have benefitted from the slave trade should be asked to pay reparations, including the Cumberbatch family.”

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Cumberbatch previously apologized for his family’s history. The actor, who starred in the 2013 film 12 Years a Slave and 2006’s Amazing Grace, told the Daily Mail that the films were “a sort of apology” for his family’s past.

He also reportedly acknowledged that his mother, actress Wanda Ventham, encouraged him not to use his real last name out of fear descendants of slaves might make him the target of reparation pursuits.

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