Benedict Cumberbatch could be forced to pay reparations due to slave-owning ancestors
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The family of Benedict Cumberbatch could soon be facing reparation payments due to slave-owning ancestors.
The actor's fifth great-grandfather, Abraham Cumberbatch, bought the family's sugar plantation in Barbados in 1728, where around 250 slaves were forced to work.
The Cumberbatch family had no choice but to give up their plantation after slavery was finally abolished in the 1830s.
They were later compensated with £6,000 - around £3.6 million in today's money.
And now, it seems as if Barbados are in the 'earliest stages' of proposing legal action towards ancestors of the Cumberbatch estate, The Telegraph has reported.
General secretary of the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration David Denny told the publication: "Any descendants of white plantation owners who have benefitted from the slave trade should be asked to pay reparations, including the Cumberbatch family.
"The money should be used to turn the local clinic into a hospital, support local schools, and improve infrastructure and housing."
Tory MP Richard Drax has also been targeted by Barbados as the politician inherited his family's slave-run sugar plantation in the 1620s.
Campaigners want Drax to hand it back, with Barbados' ambassador to the Caribbean community, David Comissiong, saying: "This is at the earliest stages. We are just beginning.
"A lot of this history is only really now coming to light."
LADbible has contacted Benedict Cumberbatch and Richard Drax for comment.
Cumberbatch previously played plantation owner Master William Ford in 12 Years A Slave.
The Oscar-winning film follows Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South.
"Subjected to the cruelty of one malevolent owner (Michael Fassbender), he also finds unexpected kindness from another, as he struggles continually to survive and maintain some of his dignity," the synopsis reads.
"Then in the 12th year of the disheartening ordeal, a chance meeting with an abolitionist from Canada changes Solomon's life forever."
The film has received a mega 95 percent from Rotten Tomatoes critics alongside a 90 percent audience score.
One critic wrote: "Director McQueen, drawing on the visual aesthetic of his previous works Shame and Hunger, never shies away from frames that capture the ways that beauty exists in the most painful situations."
Another thought: "Ambitious, honest and horrifying all at once, 12 Years a Slave may not be the easiest film to watch more than once, but it will stay with you forever once you see it.
Featured Image Credit: The Photo Access / Entertainment Pictures / Alamy
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