Comedian Alan Cummings returns his decoration due to Britain's 'Empire toxicity'
British comedian Alan Cummings, who notably starred in the series “X-Men”, announced on Friday that he had returned the decoration which had been given to him in 2009, denouncing in particular the “toxicity of the Empire British”.
This position of the actor brings a new stone to the building of the vast ongoing reflection on the colonial past of the British Empire and its misdeeds, which extends in many areas.
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 my eyes,” the comedian wrote.
“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 the empire”, he underlines.
He thus indicates having returned his price, explained his reasons and reiterated his “great gratitude” for receiving 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, the member of he Beatles John Lennon had returned his decoration of Member of the Order of the British Empire in protest against the British involvement in the civil war in Nigeria and its support for the Americans in the war in Vietnam.