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'The Imitation Game' Screenwriter Graham Moore Explains Why He's Obsessed With Alan Turing: WATCH

Moore

Screenwriter Graham Moore's Oscar speech Sunday night captured the hearts of many with his clarion call to young viewers to "stay weird" in the face of being ostracized by those who perceive them as "different." 

Moore won his Oscar for his script for The Imitation Game, a film about gay World War II hero Alan Turing who knew a thing or two about being different. 

Back at 2014's Toronto International Film Festival, Moore spoke with Xtra Online about why he is so passionate about the story of Alan Turing and why he felt compelled to tell it:

I think there could be a young Alan Turing out there today, a genius who is being discriminated against in his or her own time for reasons beyond his or her control. I think that's why I wanted to write the story, that's why I became obsessed with the story of Alan Turing...I was an outsider as a kid, I felt different than everyone else growing up around me and Alan Turing is a testament to that, to what someone outside of the mainstream can achieve, and is capable of."

Moore recently clarified that he is not gay and that it was the broad strokes of Turing's story that resonated with him more than just his sexual orientation. 

Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Alan Turing's Family Bringing Pardon Petition To English Prime Minister

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The surviving members of Alan Turing’s extended family plan to present a petition to the Prime Minister’s office asking for official pardons for thousands of other gay men and women who, like Turing, were penalized under old British indecency laws.

"I consider it to be fair and just that everybody who was convicted under the Gross Indecency Law is given a pardon,” Rachel Barnes, Turing’s great niece, expressed to The Independent. “It is illogical that my great uncle has been the only one to be pardoned when so many were convicted of the same crime.”

Barnes and Turing’s great nephew Nevil Hunt were joined by Benedict Cumberbatch earlier this year in a failed attempt to garner support from the British royal family. The royal family, according to their representatives, felt as if the decision was not their to weigh in on, but rather was a purely legislative matter.

"Generations of gay and bisexual men were forced to live their lives in a state of terror,” said Matthew Todd, editor of Attitude magazine. "Men convicted of gross indecency were often considered to have brought huge shame on their families and many took their own lives. We still live with the legacy of this period today and it's about time the country addressed this appalling part of our history."

Last night, screenwriter Graham Moore gave a moving acceptance speech for his Best Adapted Screenplay win for The Imitation Game based on Turing's life and career. Backstage afterwards, Moore shared the responsibility he felt to get Turing's story out.

MooreSaid Moore:

When you're approaching a story of this magnitude and you're approaching a life and a person as unique as Alan Turing, there's this tremendous responsibility on your shoulders...to tell his story fairly and accurately and responsibly. Alan is someone who is so mistreated by history. He is someone who as a gay man was persecuted by the government on whose existence he provided for. 


'The Imitation Game' Screenwriter Graham Moore: 'I'm Not Gay' - VIDEO

Moore

The Imitation Game screenwriter Graham Moore, who last night won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, spoke backstage following his "Stay weird. Stay different" acceptance speech about why he chose to do a story about gay World War II codebreaker Alan Turing in the first place.

Said Moore:

"I've been obsessed with Alan's story since I was a teenage. I feel very lucky to have known it when I was very young and to know about him. He was always a tremendous hero of mine. He always seemed like sort of the 'outsiders outsider.' This guy who never fit into his own time for so many reasons: because he was the smartest man in every room that he entered, because he was a gay man at a time when that was not simply frowned upon but was literally illegal, and then because he was keeping all these secrets for the government..."

Contrary to what some outlets (and viewers) assumed, however, Moore is straight. 

Buzzfeed reports:

Moore1Though many assumed that Moore was gay because of his connection to Turing, at the Governors Ball after the ceremony, he told BuzzFeed News, “I’m not gay, but I’ve never talked publicly about depression before or any of that and that was so much of what the movie was about and it was one of the things that drew me to Alan Turing so much. I think we all feel like weirdos for different reasons. Alan had his share of them and I had my own and that’s what always moved me so much about his story.”

And when it came to his incredible speech, Moore admitted that he’d thought about it, but didn’t have every word planned out. “I am incredibly superstitious, so I had it loosely in my head,” he told BuzzFeed News. “It’s the kind of thing that I’ve imagined since I was a teenager. It was weird to get on the stage and say the things that I’ve been imagining in the shower and in front of mirrors. I think everyone practices their Oscars acceptance speech with a shampoo bottle and I’ve done my fair share of them. It’s really surreal to be able to do it in real life.”

Watch Moore field questions from the press backstage, including why it was important for him to "spread [Turing's] legacy" to a new audience of people, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Watch 'The Imitation Game' Screenwriter Graham Moore's Moving Oscar Acceptance Speech: 'Stay Weird. Stay Different'

Moore

Taking home The Imitation Game's sole Oscar of the night, screenwriter Graham Moore gave a deeply personal and inspiring speech dedicated to all the freaks and geeks out in the world for his Best Adapted Screenplay win.

Said Moore:

When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different and I felt like I did not belong. And now I'm standing here, and so I would like this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she's weird or she's different or she doesn't fit in anywhere. Yes, you do. I promise you do. Stay weird. Stay different...

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Benedict Cumberbatch Talks Alan Turing And Gay Persecution with Jimmy Kimmel: VIDEO

Cumberbatch

Last night, following the announcement of his wedding, Benedict Cumberbatch appeared on Jimmy Kimmel to promote The Imitation Game.

The actor told the story of how he found out he was nominated for an Oscar, and he also discussed the historic importance of Alan Turing. Not only did Cumberbatch point out Turing's importance to the LGBT community, but also his influence on the tech sector — Silicon Valley and beyond. After Kimmel said he hadn't known Turing before Imitation Game, the actor replied:

He's known amongst the intelligence community, amongst the sort of gods of the computer world, the Silicon Valley, he's known amongst LGBT groups... what we've hoped to have done with this movie is to basically broaden an audience and an understanding of this extraordinary man, who at a very young age invented computer science and the idea of computing... [in terms of government persecution,] This man was utterly wronged...If you ask anybody in Silicon Valley — Bill Gates down — they still use Turing's mathematics.

Cumberbatch also pointed out how Turing's cracking of the Enigma code is estimated to have ended WWII two years early. Check out clips of the Kimmel appearance AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Benedict Cumberbatch Talks Alan Turing And Gay Persecution with Jimmy Kimmel: VIDEO" »


Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Decline to Participate in Gay Pardoning Campaign

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Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge have opted not to publicly support a campaign seeking royal pardons for thousands of gay men and women who were persecuted thanks to the U.K’s 19th-century indecency laws. The campaign was inspired by the 2013 royal pardoning of gay World War II codebreaker Alan Turing, who committed suicide in 1954 after being convicted of "gross indecency" for being gay.

"The UK's homophobic laws made the lives of generations of gay and bisexual men intolerable,” reads an open letter signed by Turing’s Niece, Rachel Barnes, and Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Turing in The Imitation Game. "It is up to young leaders of today including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to acknowledge this mark on our history and not allow it to stand. We call upon Her Majesty's Government to begin a discussion about the possibility of a pardoning all the men, alive or deceased, who like Alan Turing, were convicted." 

Despite being called upon to use their influence, a spokesperson explained that the royal family felt as if the issue was a purely governmental affair and that they had no place in the discussion.

The royal family’s decision to distance itself from this particular campaign is likely due to the less high-profile men who would be exonerated. Over 49,000 men were prosecuted under section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 that saddled gay men with substantial jail time. The law was partially repealed in 1967. 15,000 of those same prosecuted men are still living today.


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