Alan Cumming’s comments about the “toxicity of Empire” have sparked a worldwide debate

by Ana Lopez

Alan Cumminga Scottish actor, caused an internet discussion when he announced that he had returned his Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), which he received in 2009. On Jan. 27, the 58-year-old actor took to Instagram to post a lengthy message about how he’s “opened his eyes” to the “poison” of the British Empire lately.

He claimed:

“Fourteen years ago, I was delighted to receive him on the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honors List, as he was awarded not only for my work as an actor, but also for ‘activist for equal rights for the gay and lesbian population in the United States’. States’. States.’”

He went on to say:

“Fortunately, circumstances and laws in the United States have changed, and the huge benefit that the 2009 award brought to the LGBTQ+ movement is now less powerful than the reservations I have about being tied to the poison of empire. “

Alan Cumming

Alan Cumming, who became a US citizen in 2008, said some of the country’s anti-gay laws at the time and had fought against them. The Defense of Marriage Act and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which banned openly gay individuals from serving in the military, are among others on the list.

Alan Cumming’s perspective changed after Queen Elizabeth II died.

Cumming recalled the message he sent after getting the OBE in the same piece. He expressed his “surprise” and “pleasure” at the award, saying:

“I am extremely excited about the fight for equality for the LGBT community in the United States, and I consider this honor a motivation to continue to fight for what I believe is right and for what I take for granted as a British citizen. Thanks to the Queen and persons on her Birthday Honors List for drawing attention to the inaction of the US Government on this matter. It makes me happy to be British and gives me energy as an American.”

Alan Cumming

However, he said his thinking changed when Queen Elizabeth II died, and arguments about the British Empire took over countless discussions.

He went on to say:

“The death of the Queen and the ensuing debates about the role of the monarchy, particularly the way the British Empire profited at the expense (and murder) of Indigenous peoples around the world, really opened my eyes.”

Twitter responds to Alan Cumming’s decision to return the BLE.

After Alan Cumming’s Instagram post about the “poison” of the British Empire went viral, netizens were divided. Several commentators chastised the actor for acting for attention, with one labeling him a “traitor.” Others pointed out that to become a US citizen one must give up all titles and honors, making calling the British Empire “poison” a lie. Others praised Cumming’s courageous decision to return the OBE, calling him an “absolute legend.” Cumming told The Hollywood Reporter on Jan. 29 that he had not expected such an “international” reaction to his choice and that he had “smashed the internet”.


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