Actor Benedict Cumberbatch shocked spectators at a London theatre this week, after he attacked the British government during an on-stage, profanity laced speech about Europe’s Syrian refugee crisis.
“F—k the politicians,” Cumberbatch said Tuesday, as he lambasted the “utter disgrace of the British government” for agreeing to take in only 20,000 refugees.
The actor is currently appearing in a performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet at London’s Barbican, and has been giving emotional curtain call speeches about Syria’s millions of refugees following each show. While he has chiefly been asking for donations, Tuesday, Cumberbatch became upset at Britain’s pledge to resettle only 20,000 migrants over a five-year period.
A person in attendance for Tuesday’s Hamlet told NBC News on Friday, ”He stayed at the front and gestured for silence… He burst into this magnificent monologue about Syrian refugees, about how they are all fathers, mothers, daughters and sons, just like us.”
“He began by reading out a poem called Home by [Somali poet] Warsan Shire. He then spoke about a friend who had come back from the Greek island of Lesbos a few months ago, where there were 5,000 people arriving a day, and how the government was allowing just 20,000 refugees into the country over the next five years,” another person told The Daily Mail.
Then he reportedly said, “F—k the politicians,” while attempting to persuade the crowd to show their support, by putting money in buckets.
Another person at the show told NBC of the speech, ”It was very eloquent, emotional and beautifully put… He gave a four-letter word to the politicians and said, ‘We’ve got to do something about it.'”
A video of a previous plea for donations was posted online on Oct. 13, and shows the Sherlock actor asking for “five minutes” to talk about a “humanitarian crisis.”
“You have to understand, that no one puts children in a boat, unless the water is safer than the land,” said the actor on Tuesday.
Cumberbatch has been vocal in his pleas for the U.K. to accept more refugees, however, he is in the minority of Britons, according to a new poll.
A poll released this week by French company Ifop of seven European nations found that Britons were the most sceptical of mass immigration, with only 44 per cent supporting the idea of taking in immigrants.
Cumberbatch has stated his show has taken in around $150,000 (£100,000) in donations, acceding to NBC.