British comedian Alan Cummings, who notably starred in the series “X-Men”, announced Friday that he had returned the decoration which had been given to him in 2009, denouncing in particular the “toxicity of the British Empire”.
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This position of the actor brings a new stone to the building of the vast reflection in progress on the colonial past of the British Empire and its misdeeds, which extends in many fields.
In a post published Friday on Instagram, he recalls that he had been decorated with the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his work as an actor as well as his fight for the rights of LGBT people in the United States. United, where he lives most of the time and where it took until 2015 for same-sex marriage to be legalized nationwide.
But “the death of Queen” Elizabeth II in September and “discussions around the role of the monarchy and in particular how the British Empire took advantage of indigenous peoples (and their deaths) around the world really opened their eyes, ”wrote the comedian.
“Times and laws have changed in the United States” and the benefits his award “brought to the LGBTQ+ cause in 2009” are now “less powerful than my fears of being associated with the toxicity of empire”, he points out.
He thus indicates that he returned his prize, explained his reasons and reiterated his “great gratitude” for having received it, wishing himself a happy birthday on his 58th birthday.
Late last year, Welsh actor Michael Sheen returned the same decoration, protesting against the awarding of the title of Prince of Wales to the heir to the British crown, in this case Prince William since the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
In 1969, Beatles member John Lennon surrendered his decoration of Member of the Order of the British Empire in protest against British involvement in the Nigerian Civil War and its support for Americans in the Vietnam War.
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