Benedict Cumberbatch holds up more signs, this time defending The Guardian

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were back in London yesterday filming Episode 3 of Sherlock. Benedict’s Sherlock curls looked lovely and he was wearing the hell out of his suit (Burberry?), while Martin looked kind of over it and grumpy (or maybe he’s just Method).

But the real stuff went down when Cumberbatch thought it would be a brilliant idea to once again hold up a message for the paparazzi stalking the set. I’ve included the photos below, but here’s the text of his multi-page message: “Questions we have a right to ask in a democracy – Cameron, Theresa May, GCHQ, teachers, parents, each other … Hard drives smashed, journalists detained at airports…… Democracy? Schedule 7 Prior restraint – is this erosion of civil liberties winning the war on terror…..? What do they not want you to know? And how did they get to know it? Does the exposure of their techniques cause a threat to our security or does it just cause them embarrassment…?” Here are the photos:

If you’ve been following the shenanigans with Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian and Edward Snowden, you know exactly what Cumby is referring to. You can read The Guardian’s coverage of events here – journalist Glenn Greenwald’s lover/boyfriend/partner was stopped at Heathrow several days ago and detained for nine hours. The boyfriend was carrying documents, a laptop, memory sticks, phones and DVDs, all of which were confiscated by British authorities. THAT is what Cumby is referring to.

Now, I don’t want to get too far out of my political depth (I have to save something for my Kaiser’s Geopolitical Musings And Bangs Hatred blog), but I will point out a relatively minor hypocrisy. Even though I love Benedict, he’s the same as every other celebrity out there, which is to say “actively trying to control the press machine around him.” It is hypocritical to come out and say “yay, free speech for all, journalist power!” while at the same time having your publicist give celebrity journalists a list of subjects that you refuse to discuss (wait for it… while promoting his films this fall, no journalist will ask him about that Russian broad).

More photos from London:

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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171 Responses to “Benedict Cumberbatch holds up more signs, this time defending The Guardian”

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  1. T.Fanty says:

    Hahahahahahah! I didn’t think of that. Advocating free speech in what is ultimately an anti-pap gesture. God bless Drunk Uncle Cumby.

    Much as I adore DUC, this also smack a little of the HiddleyAnna School of Bettering Your Fans Try-Hardiness.

    (which is different to try-Hardy-ness, which I would very gladly sign up for)

  2. sandra says:

    And the meltdown starts in 3…2….1….

  3. T.Fanty says:

    Also, is it wrong to say that I’d hit it with the force of a Guardian editor smashing a hard drive?

    • Lindy79 says:

      Nope, not at all.

      Out of curiosity, have his PR team actually said he can’t be asked about the model, or is this just speculation?

      I don’t think the situation is entirely comparible. A journalist’s partner being detained for 9 hours and having all their assets taken from them is hardly equal to asking a celeb about what may or may not be their f*ck buddy when they’re promoting a movie? And I say this as someone who would like to see his reaction to that question, which would hopefully be him slagging her off for trying to use him for press.

      • T.Fanty says:

        The Guardian situation is really effed up. Apart from the absolutely illegal detaining of Miranda under the misapplication of Section 7, the whole issue of government officials, publicly endorsed by Clegg, turning up at the Guardian offices and watching them destroy data is shocking and disturbing. It makes you wonder what else the Guardian was had in there. I don’t think we’ll ever get the full extent of NSA surveillance coverage.

        *Waves to CIA*

      • Sixer says:

        It’s more than scary. And I really hate to feel ashamed of my country. But at this point, I’m lovin’ my fellow Britons but am not that keen on Britain.

      • T.Fanty says:

        What’s interesting and so weird about this is that the story is kind of huge, but because it’s a Guardian scoop, nobody else is really touching it. In that sense, Benny the Bitch (I think he’s a combo of BTB and DUC in this instance) is actually raising the profile of the issue. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that not many of the girls following #setlock on tumblr are avid Guardian readers.

      • Sixer says:

        It managed two days dominating the BBC news here (but today we’ve moved onto alleged chemical attacks in Syria and GCSE results).

        But yes. This is an entirely different audience he’s reaching. Good? I think so, regardless of pap-bitching and Assange film-promoting.

        I don’t understand what it will take to make the citizens of this country understand that the vote does not a democracy make. Free speech, a free and independent press, habeas corpus – these things are probably all more important. And they’re all under attack.

      • T.Fanty says:

        Yes, just this morning I was reading about the massive fall in GSCE results.

        This needs to be further addressed. To be honest, I was ambivalent about the Prism/NSA scandal at first, because I don’t entirely think expectations of privacy should be when using something that is ultimately a gigantic social network that consists of visiting other people’s property. To me, that’s a whole issue of consumer responsibility and a culture that no longer understands privacy. It’s an academic and philosophical question. But what happened this week, between the Miranda arrest, the Bradley Manning sentencing, and the Guardian incident is worth discussing, because the whole privacy thing is predicated on an honor system, and this shows EXACTLY how it can be (and is being) abused.

      • Lucrezia says:

        As an non-Brit (in case the Brits are wondering how this is being covered elsewhere): I’m fairly up to date with current events. I knew about Egypt, and about Snowden. I even knew there were questions raised about the use of PRISM by the UK spooks. But I had not heard anything at all about this (hard-drive smashing or Miranda being detained).

        So consider me enlightened – thank you Cumby. (And thank you for not wearing that chav-tastic tracksuit again!)

      • Sixer says:

        @ Fanty – yes! And terror legislation has been abused right from day one, with octogenarian Labour party members arrested for heckling Tony Blair (about OTHER things) during a speech, and the infamous use by councils to fine citizens for using one too many wheelie bins for their litter. Now it’s getting really serious.

        (Vis a vis GSCE results – it’s all relative, as with A levels. This year, Russell Group unis seem to have been making offers a grade or two below the previous year. So all that’s happened is compensation. It’s a) the curriculum and b) the skills that count. Grades are a wasted conversation).

        @ Lucrezia – frightening, isn’t it? We’ll be in a denunciation society before we know it.

      • T.fanty says:


        That’s interesting, re: GCSEs (shout out to the EXCELLENT job Gove is doing). According to the press, it seems that grade inflation has been an ongoing issue for some time now. The Guardian was attributing it to younger participants and increase in subjects taken. Would you mind elaborating on your point, please?

        @ Lucrezia, re: sweat pants. It’s a sad day when I can’t tell whether DUC is in homeless costume or just casual dress.

      • Sixer says:

        @Fanty: I think grade inflation is a genuine phenomenon. And perhaps it *is* slightly more significant at GSCE than at A level. This is because the “target” (for schools themselves, for progression to further education, for certain apprenticeships) is 5 GCSES at grade C or above to include English and Maths. So harsher grading *will* make a difference to those kids on the borderline of C and D.

        But to everyone else? What does it matter if you got an A or an A*? College admissions and employers are all highly aware of who represents the top band in any given year. The name you give the mark they get (for the same work!) is irrelevant.

        As I say, Russell Group unis seem to have dropped offers from last year to account for expected harsher marking in A levels. Offers down from 320-360 to 300-320 points. So what’s the point of changing the marking? The same kids are going to the same places.

        I will say that the trend to put kids into GSCEs a year early (gives them another bite at the getting a C apple if they mess up) is terrible. As is multiple retakes. That should all stop asap.

        The curriculum matters. The acquisition of skills matters. But what name you give to the kids who come top and the kids who come bottom? It’s just a distraction from putting right what does matter.

        I think Gove knows this. I think he’s using it as an easy way to communicate a more general message. I’m liking some of what he does, but not all.

        (BTW – I’m a lay governor at a local school, which is why I get exercised).

      • T.Fanty says:

        One more question: what’s the justification for allowing younger students to take tests early and multiple testing? Is this an attempt to push smart students through the system earlier, or a pro-active measure to give a second bite of the apple in case of failure? It seems as though it’s an experiment that hasn’t worked out at the expense of a lot of children.

      • Sixer says:

        Historically, a practice for the bright ones. I took English Language and Maths a year early, for example, because I was the top set for both at a selective school. But schools have been pushing the boundaries of who’s capable. This is a double whammy: two bites at getting the C; another subject for kids to take the following year, increasing the proportion of kids who get the 5 x Cs.

        Multiple testing: exams are modular now. They don’t take one set of exams per subject after two years of study; they take 4 exams (on average) at 6 monthly intervals throughout the two years. This has decreased stress and unfair anomalous exam results, but you can imagine the unintended consequence. Kids fail the first paper after 6 months, but they’ve got another three chances to retake it before they’ve actually finished the course. Which is clearly not good.

        It’s also meant that almost all classroom time is dedicated to the test. I think this decreases the level of general skill acquisition. I’d rather see at most two exam periods over the GSCE course. This would be a much more significant change than piddling about with pointless grade boundary marking changes.

      • T.Fanty says:

        That’s interesting. It strikes me that the motivation for doing it in good schools and struggling schools are probably entirely different.

        When I took my GCSEs (at a rural comp), top sets had the option of adding a language, and then there was an arts option (read: drama), which meant that you had to give up half a session of PE on Wednesdays and didn’t get the fancy options of going to the local sports center for swimming. The other GCSEs I acquired were along the way to my A-Level. I can’t see how quality isn’t being sacrificed in the drive for test results – which is a massive problem over here.

        I know this probably makes me sound ancient (I’m only 37, honest), but they’ve ditched the 11+, right? There’s no equivalent now to give options to non-rich smart kids? Or is this supposed to be it?

      • Sixer says:

        (We are of an age, or thereabouts! I went to a selective private school on a scholarship up until 16, when I got a rebellious phase, got fed up with it, and did A levels at a local further ed college).

        It depends where you are. A few areas still have the 11+. In most areas, wealth now dictates – if you can afford a nice house, you can go to a better school. I think still better than the US, but not good (and of course, wealth equals parental/cultural capital which helps a school do well, etc).

        Where I live, there’s no 11+ but there are two of the best state schools in the country. They both operate selectively, so in effect, we have the 11+.

        I remember the education series of The Wire! Teaching to the test is a massive problem here too. This is one of the problems I have with Gove. None of his reforms address this and indeed, I’m not sure he even considers it a problem.

      • T.Fanty says:

        I think that in these days of increasing budget tightness and corporatization, teaching to tests isn’t a problem for administrators. It’s an ongoing pressure on the humanities – to be able to quantitatively prove value. There’s a fundamental shift away from intellectualism for intellectualism’s sake, which means that in government run school systems, productivity is key, as a measure of success, and by extension, for funding. Which is why there is a shift that’s seeing art and intellectualism becoming a privilege of privately educated schools.

        I went to a local comp after failing my 11+ test (thanks, mum), then to a local vocational college for a bunch of A-levels before getting into the corporate whore Warwick for an arts degree. My parents didn’t consider university an option for their kids and were wholly unprepared to send me – thank god for government funding. If I were eighteen now and still at home, I’d probably be looking at a career answering phones in a city office. It breaks my heart to see a system that from the age of ten or eleven, is funneling children away from rigorous thought.

      • Sixer says:

        Amen to absolutely all of that.

        You know, they have an A level now called Critical Thinking (it is, obviously, one of the Mickey Mouse subjects good universities ignore). Just even thinking about that makes me weep. It’s a bloody skill, not a subject!

        I went to UCL, despite the mad rebellion post GCSE. I would say that my posh private school gave me the specific skills I needed. But parental cultural capital gave me absolutely everything else. My parents weren’t pushy. But they were politically active and culturally aware and always non-censoring. I do think I owe most to them.

      • T.Fanty says:

        A critical thinking A Level? Surely to pass it, all you have to do is realize that it’s a bullish*t subject.

        The culture is everything, too, and this can at least bring us full circle to Cumby and HiddleyAnna. Right now, our culture simultaneously celebrates and condemns chavviness (for want of a better word, and I’m using it in the Rhian Jones cultural constriction sense). It’s really mixed messages, but one thing it is also is overarchingly anti-intellectual (and a lot of the current criticism of irony culture also bleeds into that). And this is the value of the earnestness of our darling boys. I actually think that what the Hiddlestons and the Cumbys of the world, and their rabid following represent, is a geek culture that is actually the subcultural rebellion against all of this inanity and superficiality that only sometimes bothers to masquerade itself as affected ambivalence . If I may go so far, geek culture is the new grunge.

      • Sixer says:

        Indeed, Daniel Jackson.

        That’s the most low-rent reference I can think of!

        Fanty, will you marry me? Bigamously, of course.

      • T.Fanty says:

        Always, my darling Sixer.

        You know, I like to think that somewhere, Cumby is sitting in a green room in his Sherlock dressing gown, reading this on his little iphone and smugly telling Una Stubbs, “Look at how I’ve inspired them.”

      • Sixer says:

        “Fly, my little bitches, fly!”

      • Lindy79 says:

        *posts picture of me beside a log fire, wearing nothing but a dirty smirk, cardigan and a glass of whiskey in hand, just in case he is*

      • Crumpets & Crotchshots says:

        @Sixer and @Tfanty: I am reading this while having my hair done, following all of it, and I know somewhere Cumby is having his hair done and is doing the same.

        I adore you both. You rock to the pount of making granite envious.

      • Sixer says:

        Bless you, Crumpets.

        True thing: I am frightened of hairdressers.

    • Anna says:

      *MUAH* That’s a big, sloppy one for you, for the Comment of the Day.

    • Laura says:

      I know nothing of the situation that he’s commenting on, all I know is that the suit he’s wearing needs to make an appearence on bedroom floor. Good Googly he looks delish!

    • Crumpets & Crotchshots says:

      I would too

    • tizzyfizzy says:

      Only if you don’t mind him telling the world about it using fangirls and hastily scrawled notes on cheap computer paper.

      Honestly, Cumberbatch… step up your game! Get a dry erase board, maybe some poster board? Use a nice big marker. Maybe some stick figure illustrations to really bring home the point

      At the very least, if all he’s going to do is stand there and hold it, he should be wearing nothing but a well-cut thong, strategic body-glitter, and a smile! (oh dear. I’m sorry Cumby, I don’t mean to denigrate your important effort to inform the masses through signs…)

  4. Tapioca says:

    In Cumby’s defence, there’s a massive difference between an actor refusing to answer questions about their bed mates and governments squashing the free press to hide their shameful secrets.

    Plus he doesn’t exactly pimp out his private life and he’s awesome.

    No bias here.

    • Vesta says:

      Good point Tapioca (and Lindy79 up there), there’s a massive difference. He has a right to express an opinion just like everybody else and I don’t mind him throwing in his thoughts and questions about this subject.

      I don’t even care if it’s some kind of PR for The Fifth Estate. I’m glad that they still even try to do films about current weighty issues; there’s already more than enough flicks about CGI zombies chasing some poster boy actors. And…I’m not even going to care if BC sucks in it cause it’s a tough challenge for an actor to portait a real person, who also happens to be a very controversial figure. *sorry for ranting*

      But, he should toss those Tom Ford-style sunnies. I hate them.

    • Ivy says:

      You’re so right Tapioca . I was thinking the exact same thing :)

    • Mairead says:

      Abso-bloody-loutely! I don’t know how you can conflate the two of these things. Who he shags is not a life-or-death situation in a modern democracy. The deliberate targeting of journalists and their sources, however, IS a direct attack on one of the functions of most western democracies.

      I know it’s the bread and butter of this website, but most celebrity gossip is a stupid diversion – which is something that shouldn’t be forgotten- and thank Christ some of them know this.

      • Janey says:

        You conflate the two because they are a similar issue, 1 is a heinous abuse of power and 1 is a public figure with a very carefully managed image, but the essence of these 2 things is the control of information. Cumberbatch’s image is very carefully controlled – as is any succesful actors – and part of that control is deciding which information is released. You’re right (and he’s right) that we should be questioning the smashing of Guardian hard drives but that doesn’t mean we can’t also raise an eyebrow at hypocrisy.

      • Mairead says:

        I strongly disagree. Regardless of his fame, he is still a private individual and who he dates actually is not our business, and is only of tangential relevance to his actual job. But because a cult of gossip has exploded in the past 10 years doesn’t change the fundamentals of that.
        If he was using his persona to deflect from illegal and/or morally repugnant behaviour is one thing, but going out with another consenting adult? Ah here!

    • Mich says:

      Right on. My thoughts exactly.

  5. Paula says:

    I cant lie I didnt pay attention to the note because I couldn’t read his handwriting. And the set was crazy yesterday. Did you see it? Looked like an episode of TRL circa 2000.

  6. Ellen says:

    These Martin photos are from takes for the show (OK not the goofy one). He was all over Twitter smiling and being nice to the fans so I think he was actually in a good mood. (There are photos of Martin and Amanda meeting a little kid and signing autographs that are pretty adorable.)

  7. TheyPromisedMeBeer says:

    This will probably make me unpopular but when he did it with the Egypt scibble, I understood. He was telling an annoying photog to piss off. This time, it’s like *Siiiiigh, ‘kay Ben. We GET it.

    Clever subliminal promotion for Assange and all, but really. Time and place, is all I’m saying. Time and place.

    • lady mary. says:

      yeah , spot on,exactly ,why is he doin this now?seems is bit too much of educating the paps or whatever

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Yeah, enough with the signs, already. If you have something to say, just say it.

    • Sixer says:

      I’m going to say – although I’m first to acknowledge Cumby’s petulant bitch side – that I disagree. He’s found a hook that gets coverage. He’s using it. It may be to be a petulant bitch/promote the Assange film and awareness of an issue is a mere side effect. Or, he may feel strongly and that’s WHY he took the Assange film in the first place. Either way, it’s doing a successful job of promoting the issue.

      • TheyPromisedMeBeer says:

        I see your side. I really do. And I love that he wants to bring this up. I just … it’s like I said, time and place. This isn’t something that can be scribbled. This isn’t an issue for a casual pap photo. If he wants to bring it up, he needs to SPEAK. And he should. Mark Ruffalo can pen an open letter and have it reach a massive audience. Benedict is an intelligent fellow – he could easily do the same.

        Does that make sense? I’m not bashing the sentiment. Just the way he brought it up.

      • Sixer says:

        I’m reluctant to ascribe motive to him because I just don’t know. Could be pap-bitch. Could be film promotion. Could be activism.

        I guess it’s probably a mix of all three.

        What I would LIKE to think, is that he had a pap-bitch with the previous note and got a lot of coverage, most of it positive. So he thought he’d extend the game and kill three birds with one stone (paps, Assange film, awareness raising). So it’s not as if there was forethought. A thing happened on day one and it worked, so he carried it on on day two.

        That’s what I’d like it to be.

        (It helps that I agree with the sentiment and will inevitably look with a favourable cast on anything that brings it to the fore).

      • T.fanty says:

        This was kind of the point I was making yesterday on the TommyAnne post. Cumby won’t advance an opinion on this. Noble as it is (and I do think it is), it isn’t so much of an opinion as a mild left-wing platitude that isn’t more of any more opinionated than the lament for arts funding a poster cited below. He just gets away with it more.

        Also, the irony of Cumby starting to talk in an interview about the topic of censorship would be a thing of beauty.

      • Crumpets & Crotchshots says:

        I think it is the latter, and I am fine with it. This is a serious issue, and he is taking it seriously.

      • Sixer says:

        I’m just sitting here thinking about the Marmite Effect. I have the greatest respect for some of the posters hereabouts and when we all see the same thing, think about it rationally, and then come to different conclusions, I can only blame Marmite. Personally, I love the stuff.

      • T.Fanty says:

        @Sixer – You just hate me because I used the word “opinion” twenty-seven times in one sentence. Dammit. Now I hate me, too.

      • Sixer says:

        You are opinionated about your opinions, which, in my opinion, which is also opinionated, is rather motivational to the posting of further opinions by other opionionated people.

        There are much better words to overuse. Mostly rude ones. How about it?

      • T.Fanty says:

        Now I am going to make a statement here. I don’t know whether it fits into the category of other people’s statements or not. But whether it fits into their category or whether it doesn’t, it obviously fits into some category. So in that respect it is no different from their statements. However, let me try making my statement.

        There is a beginning. There is a not yet beginning to be a beginning. There is a not yet beginning to be a not yet beginning to be a beginning. There is being. There is nonbeing. There is a not yet beginning to be nonbeing. There is a not yet beginning to be a not yet beginning to be nonbeing. Suddenly there is nonbeing. But I do not know, when it comes to nonbeing, which is really being and which is nonbeing. Now I have just said something. But I don’t know whether what I have said has really said something or whether it hasn’t said something.

        Holy crap, we’ve just turned into a Cumberbatch interview.

      • Sixer says:

        I don’t know about you, but I really like Shakespeare.

      • T.Fanty says:

        Pfft. This is all TommyAnne’s fault.

      • Sixer says:

        I think it’s probably mine. I finished working for the week earlier this morning and have had nothing to do but egg you on since the delightful Kaiser decided to post.

      • T.Fanty says:

        I’m reading neo-classical theories of comedy – or at least I’m supposed to be – so your distraction is pathetically appreciated.

      • Sixer says:

        Glad to be of assistance. Sad to say, small people are suggesting food in bellies is a priority. I can’t imagine why, once you’ve got them, you have to feed them every day. Kids should come refillable or something.

      • T.Fanty says:

        Urgh. Can’t you just shut them in the back garden with an old steak bone? That’s what I do.

        Oh, no, hang on, that might be my dog.

        (P.S. Bye!)

      • Sixer says:

        I am back! Post spicy bean bake, an interlude on the Wii, at which I performed poorly in comparison to people half my size, and an episode of Top Boy. I suppose you’ve gone already.

    • Janey says:

      Eh, he’s a dilettante. His interests in the affairs of the world tend to ccorrelate to whatever he’s promoting now/next. War Horse was the Gulf War, Star Trek was terrorism.

    • van says:

      I really doubt it’s just promotion for the Assange film. Benedict’s always been somewhat politically active. He criticizes Cameron and comments on the lack of government funding for the arts whenever he finds the opportunity.

      He’s just realized that he has a bigger soapbox now than he ever had before.

  8. Anna says:

    GOD, he looks good in that suit! My favorite look of his.

  9. Maria says:

    i dont see so much hypocrisy there. at the end of the day he is a celeb and if he has orgies with russian super models or sits at home lonely and crying wont have an impact on our lives. politicans and police officers abusing their powers has though.
    i can totally understand a celeb not wanting to talk about his cheating wife on a red carpet, especially if its just made up by the Star. but a politician refusing to speak about crimes he gave the order to is really bad.
    free press doesnt mean that everyhting is ok as much as free speech doesnt mean you can bully someone into suicide.

    the press should take more responsiblity when it comes to fact checking. nowadays someone reports something even if they know its not really true and others copy it and thats it. even if its proven wrong later, how often do you read apologies?

    what we ultimately need is that bringing light to crimes (with proof ofc) should always be protected.

    personally i think it was a test ballon to see how far they can go. they must have known that this will give a lot of bad press and people being mad and that no one that smuggles secret papers will only have one copy on one hard drive.

    • Lucrezia says:

      Test-balloon is the first thing I’ve heard that makes sense. It’s either that or pure bureaucratic stupidity.

      The editor of the Guardian flat-out told them (before they destroyed the drives) that there were already copies with Greenwald in Brazil, and a copy in their American office. Common sense suggests that destroying one copy was simply going to make the Guardian a) make MORE copies and b) publish an article saying what happened.

      Either common sense was taking the day off, or the GCHQ were actively courting bad press.

      • Thais says:

        What I don’t understand is if he already had a copy, what did he send Miranda to get another one? Before being a journalist, Greenwald used to be a lawyer, he knew the risks of sending his husband to get those documents.

        I’ve lost any kind of respect I had for then after watching his interview to a Brazilian TV and his testimony in the Brazilian Senate. Don’t get me wrong, if any journalist has this kind of information, I’m all for publishing then, but this man… He behaved more as an activist than a journalist.

        He shouldn’t threat to publish what he has, just publish it already! It’s starting to sound as blackmail!

        Greenwald has not published a single evidence that the US also monitor the contents of the message exchanges. But he personally supports so. Nor has he published evidence that the country has interests other than fighting terrorism, but he, in several interviews and in testimony before the Brazilian Senate, argues that the US HAS. He hasn’t published, it must be stressed, one evidence that the “espionage” to Brazilians had commercial objectives, but he argues that it has … This kind of practice characterizes political activism, not journalism.

        Sorry! I just had to vent a little bit!!!

        As for Cumberbatch, I used to be attracted to his unconventional look, but since seeing his interview in the Graham Norton show and hearing him saying “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” just drove me crazy. I hate this so much I can’t even express myself!

        And after seeing him behaving like a self-important brat I just want someone to make him stop…

  10. Lina says:

    Even if you call it a “minor hypocrisy”, I still really don’t see how one can compare a whiny celeb not wanting paparazzi/tabloids getting into his life to the UK government bowing down to the US government to violate human rights.

  11. Notthatone says:

    Sad days. Political comment gets put down, and government attacks on the free media get described as shenanigans. Oh, and actors are looked to for moral direction instead of politicians.

  12. Stephany says:

    He looks really good in these pics. And I dont think he will get asked about the russian chick regardless even if he doesn’t want to talk about it because it really wasn’t a big deal. Just something hyped up by the gossip blogs. Plus she already came out and squashed those rumors.

  13. Amanda says:

    How dare celebs talk about current events! How dare they have an opinion! LOL!

  14. dahlianoir says:

    Next time he’s going to sell us his old car.

  15. Lisa A. says:

    Damn he looks really good here. I would sooo tap that.

  16. LC says:

    He knows he has a platform and he’s using it. But hasn’t he always been political? I remember watching him back in 2011 speaking out against something about the arts in Britain. Cant remember what exactly it was but it is on youtube.

  17. nittfox says:

    I have to admire Cumberbatch for this particular bit of photog education week, but I have one argument….

    Martin Freeman doesn’t look grumpy, he’s in character. (And I’d hit that with the force of a freight train if it wasn’t for the fact of Amanda….or an ocean between us!) He’s my dream. Let everyone else love the Cumby….

  18. Zara says:

    Don’t think he is being hypocritical:
    * the Russian girlfriend or his private life = not in public interest or anything to do with his work/movie
    whereas the Guardian coverage/reports = were in public interest.
    So no he wasn’t being hypocritical at all.

    • Belle says:

      The Russian model isn’t and never was a girlfriend, btw. She has a long term boyf who is also her PR guy. I think it’s gernerally accepted now that the whole photograph and hint dropping business was a rather poor attempt to garner her some publicity by attaching herself to his name.

    • Georgina says:

      I agree. I dont think the public really cared for that situation. The majority of people are more interested in his projects and when Sherlock is coming back. That was just good gossip for sites like these.

    • Gretchen says:

      Agree completely Zara.

      Whether or not he is banging said Russian lady doesn’t speak to wider issues of freedom or civil rights, it is literally useless information that effects no one else. Government authorities confiscating private property and taking actions in matters of public interest… yeah, a bit more relevant.

  19. Quinn says:

    If ever was the perfect time to promote something yesterday was THE perfect day. It was soooo many people out there that you would think it was a 1D band member inside the building across the street. From the pics there were alot of young people there. How much you wanna bet a good portion of them had no idea about this issue. Platform people platform.

    • Side-Eye says:

      I totally agree. I love the fact that he’s putting this out there for his fans, most of whom probably hadn’t heard of it. These girls really adore him and listen to what he says, so if not all of them are activists, at least some of them went to look it up and were educated on the situation, and maybe some even went out to learn more to be a little involved. I’m not saying that he’s this saint for doing this, but I like that there’s someone I like who’s willing to take an open stance on the issue.

  20. Georgina says:

    Almost every woman he is seen with its always assumed he is dating them. I mean I had a good laugh last December when he got in the car with that blonde and everyone thought it was a gf when it turned out to be his niece. Lol. The other one with Laura Pulver was another chuckle so was Liv Tyler.

  21. PumpkinPancake says:

    I don’t actually think he was educating the paps. (although… I could be wrong, there are so many different versions floating around!)

    There’s a short video a fan took where he’s actually asking the throng of (fairly well behaved) fangirls if they’d mind him holding up some signs. They, of course, agree, and so he holds up his signs and the fans dutifully take their pictures and then share them on social media.

    I think his message is pretty interesting and good for starting discussion and raising awareness. This kind of stuff IS happening and it’s happening NOW, and if we ignore it, it’ll KEEP happening, so at least be AWARE of it.

    HOWEVER- it seems a bit melodramatic? (ha! An actor? Being dramatic! Why, I never!! ::pearl clutch::) With the signs and his little ernest expression.

    He doesn’t have any social media outlet, so maybe this is his attempt? But I dunno. Give an interview or something. Jump on a friend’s twitter, like he’s done before.

    If we suddenly have a spate of celebs holding signs up for pics to get their views across… ugh. It’s open season, now, though, Cumby. What has been said/shared cannot be unsaid/shared, and is fair game, yes?

  22. Zana Marsha says:

    Put everything aside he looks f**kable here. Gawd the sherlock look really works for him. I like his other looks to like the red hair and just 1 time the blonde but he would never leave my house looking like this. *Locks him in bedroom*

  23. Kiddo says:

    Wow, I’m starting to really like this guy.
    And on another note, I hope Glenn has a second copy of everything backed up somewhere.

  24. Kiddo says:

    It’s not being hypocritical at all. See, he wants his right to privacy, he feels you should have a right to privacy, and he’s pointing out that the only ones who think they have a right to privacy are the spies, who want to keep private what private data they have snooped on.

  25. Evelyn says:

    Man he looks good. If he needs to get “some” I would gladly give him “some”.

  26. Tish says:

    Errr. What he did was cringe-worthy but there’s a difference between invasion of privacy (asking about the Russian wannabee girlfriend) and freedom of speech (which is what he was actually talking about).

    Also, Crimson Peak is a troubled production. Stone left with a “scheduling conflict” excuse when there’s none (Crowe film will shoot this Sept) and now Cumberbatch with no excuse given. Chastain and Wasikowska needs to get out of there before they cast Dan Stevens!

    He looks so damn HOT with that suit and sunglasses. He has never looked more like a movie star!

  27. ilsy says:

    Don’t write it down! Say it so we can hear that deep beautiful rich posh voice of yours Cumby!

  28. drea says:

    Honestly, I find these quaint paper signs irritating. I hope this doesn’t turn into “his thing.” Ben, if there’s more of this stuff if you want to say, call a journalist or get a Twitter account.

  29. Chinoiserie says:

    Is He some kind of fame whore since there is always so many post about him, or is every news about him always reported here or something? I am honestly asking since I really do not read other gossip sites, and the fact that he is a man and talented (or so people say I have never seen him in anything) does not mean that does not want attention.

    • Kiddo says:

      There is a strong subculture of fans, so he is irresistible for the paps, and Kaiser loves him, so then CB publishes those stories. I’m not sure if you could call him a famewhore. I don’t think, at least initially, that he was calling the attention upon himself. That’s how I’ve analyzed it. Granted, all I ever see written about him is here, too.

  30. Melissa says:

    Wow this could get annoying.

  31. Mairead says:

    All issues aside, that photo of Martin and Cumby is ace :-D

  32. Sara says:

    OSCAR CAMPAIGN for “The Fifth Estate” has begun! Don’t you think? He’s normally quite courteous and grateful in press interviews, etc.. I really think this is promotion for his movie.

  33. Mina says:

    Kaiser, I actually looked up your Geopolitical Musings blog and found none. I demand it now!!

  34. Claudia says:

    Hmm… I don’t know, sometimes I wonder if it’s really hypocritical. A lot of times if those questions (the ones celebrities do not want to answer) get asked, the celebrity gets up and leaves. It’s almost like giving advanced notice– implying they will leave if that question is asked. Democracy goes both ways; a person has a right to ask, just as a person has a right to refuse to answer. No one is taking away the journalist’s cameras or recorder on a red carpet if the wrong question is asked– they just don’t get the interview. It’s not the same.

  35. T.Fanty says:

    God bless the Guardian. Yesterday, they were heralding Cumby on the front page of the site, and today, they’re using it as an opportunity to implicitly posh-bash him:

    (they totally copied us)

  36. Whatever says:

    He’s asking the right questions….why aren’t the rest of us. Or complacency in life will leave to our demise. When did we stop standing up for our rights as free citizens.

    …let’s all bury our heads in the sand oh and bitch about all thats wrong instead of acting.

  37. Alex says:

    “It is hypocritical to come out and say “yay, free speech for all, journalist power!” while at the same time having your publicist give celebrity journalists a list of subjects that you refuse to discuss…”

    I don’t see him giving a list of topics he doesn’t want to talk about as an attack or not going along with free speech. Journalist still have the freedom to write about whatever they want about him, all he is doing is not commenting on them. Which is his right too.

  38. MAC says:

    I am glad he did it. The comment about the russian model has nothing to do with what this is about.

  39. mended says:

    i think cumby has always been cognizant of erosion of civil liberties/government control/lack of privacy issues. when he played stephen ezard in that miniseries, he spoke about it a lot. this isn’t new territory for him. plus it goes nicely with the “fifth estate” PR.

  40. TheCountess says:

    I love the guy, but this was just silly and he needs to stop, focus on his work and give an interview if there’s a cause for which he feels the urge to act as messenger.

  41. allheavens says:


    Most of the population could be called dilettantes.

    Unless we actively puts in the time and financial resources to effect real change, we need to put away the side-eye.