Report: Stephen Fry to Hit Prince William with Gay Rights Petition at BAFTAs

AP Photo/The Weinstein Company
AP Photo/The Weinstein Company

Comedian Stephen Fry is set to host the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards Sunday in London, and according to Page Six, is rumored to be planning a surprise for a member of the royal family.

Fry is reportedly planning to present a petition to BAFTA president Prince William to again ask for a pardon of 49,000 men who were persecuted for being gay under British law in the 1950s.

The Duke of Cambridge reportedly rejected a request from Fry and actor Benedict Cumberbatch for a royal pardon last week, as Will and Kate reportedly weren’t interested in getting behind the issue.

A spokesman for the couple said pardons were a government matter, and the royals would be making no public comments.

Cumberbatch, who portrays Alan Turning in The Imitation Game, and Fry both signed an open letter calling for the “young leaders” to support the Pardon49k petition, which currently has more than 137,000 signatures.

In 2013 Queen Elizabeth II pardoned Alan Turing, a mathematician who famously broke the Nazi Enigma code during WWII. After the war, he was prosecuted for homosexual acts and forced to undergo chemical castration in 1952.

Fry has said of the other gay men who suffered similar treatment: “There is a feeling that perhaps if he should be pardoned, then perhaps so should all of those men, whose names were ruined in their lifetime, but who still have families.”

The BAFTA awards will be held at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London on February 8.


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