Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” is acting mighty peculiar when it comes to the millions of migrants from the Middle East and northern Africa flooding into Europe. Benedict Cumberbatch says politicians aren’t doing enough, which is odd considering towns like Sumte, Germany (population: 100), have been ordered to accept 750 migrants.
The Hollywood Reporter details what the actor is telling audiences after his “Hamlet” performances in London:
Benedict Cumberbatch spontaneously shared a message onstage: “F— the politicians.”
The actor, currently starring in Hamlet on the West End, made the comment on Tuesday during his now-regular post-performance plea for support of the Syrian refugee crisis, according to the Telegraph.
While asking for donations from London’s Barbican Theatre stage, he also called it an “utter disgrace of the British government” for not doing more to pacify the crisis.
What does Mr. Cumberbatch suggest British officials do? Should they mimic Germany and open the door to 800,000 migrants before the end of the year? Should they dive head-first into militarily action in Syria and Iraq? Like most actors who wade into public policy debates, he avoids specifics. Detailed plans are not conducive to feel-good platitudes or telling others to “f–k” themselves.
The New York Times reported Oct. 31:
In early October, the district government informed Sumte’s mayor, Christian Fabel, by email that his village of 102 people just over the border in what was once Communist East Germany would take in 1,000 asylum seekers.
His wife, the mayor said, assured him it must be a hoax. “It certainly can’t be true” that such a small, isolated place would be asked to accommodate nearly 10 times as many migrants as it had residents, she told him. “She thought it was a joke,” he said.
But it was not. Sumte has become a showcase of the extreme pressures bearing down on Germany as it scrambles to find shelter for what, by the end of the year, could be well over a million people seeking refuge from poverty or wars in Africa, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
In a small concession to the villagers, Alexander Götz, a regional official from Lower Saxony, told them this week that the initial number of refugees, who start arriving on Monday and will be housed in empty office buildings, would be kept to 500, and limited to 750 in all.
Before Mr. Cumberbatch retires to his mansion in a gated community, or heads off for a beach vacation on the other side of the world, he says “F–k the politicians” — but that apparently doesn’t pertain to European politicians who are fundamentally transforming entire towns overnight.
One a scale of 1-to-10, with 1 being “I love Jews,” and 10 being “Kill the Jews,” what will the town of Sumte, Germany’s average score be with its news residents?
On a scale of 1-to-10, with 1 being, “Gay people should be treated with dignity and respect,” and 10 being, “Kill gay people,” what will the town of Sumte,Germany’s average score be with its new residents?
On a scale of 1-to-10, with 1 being, “I love Benedict Cumberbatch,” and 10 being, “I don’t know Benedict Cumberbatch, but if he’s an infidel then he should probably die,” what will the town of Sumte, Germany’s average score be with its new residents?
Towns all across Europe aren’t just being asked to take in a few migrants here and there — they are literally being culturally upended. Citizens of small towns in Germany and Austria and Hungary are now cultural minorities, and they are supposed to like it.
Indeed, European politicians like German Chancellor Angela Merkel should certainly be excoriated for their handling of the refugee crisis, but not for doing “too little.”
Cumberbatch’s “Hamlet” is playing in London’s West End. Perhaps London should take in enough migrants so that Londoners are outnumbered 7-to-1 by men and women from Syria, Libya, and northern Africa. Then we can fast-forward in time 20 years and see if the local population still appreciates Shakespeare and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
My guess is that Mr. Cumberbatch would live far away from such a cultural reality.