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Top Celebrities Join Global Effort To Pardon 49,000 Convicted Under British Anti-Gay Laws

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February 6, 2015 (New York, NY) – Entertainment and media’s biggest figures, including the stars of THE IMITATION GAME, are coming aboard a worldwide movement to demand pardons for the estimated 49,000 men who, like Alan Turing, were convicted of consenting same-sex relations under UK anti-gay laws.

Matt Breen, Editor-In-Chief of The Advocate and noted gay rights activist, started a petition centered around the cause at Change.org, urging the British government to clear those tens of thousands of names as they did posthumously for Turing.
 
Having collected over 140,000 signatures, the call to action has quickly been gaining traction with ardent support coming from all over the globe. Several celebrities, including Matt Damon, Michael Douglas, Jessica Alba, Ryan Reynolds and Bryan Cranston have signed on, and some have also taken the cause to social media platforms like Twitter, urging the public to follow suit in the call to action.
 
The petition can be accessed here:
http://Pardon49k.org
 
USA TODAY feature here:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2015/02/06/anti-gay-law-victims-petition-changeorg/22995299/
 
Backers from THE IMITATION GAME include actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Rory Kinnear and Alex Lawther, producers Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman, director Morten Tyldum, screenwriter Graham Moore and editor Billy Goldenberg.
 
Other major celebrities standing by the petition include:
 
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Alan Cumming, Alex Aja, Ben Winston, Bryan Cranston, Daisy Lowe, Dan Jones, Dan Rookwood, Danny Huston, Douglas Booth, Dustin Lance Black, Emily Kinney, Gary Barlow, Graham Norton, Isaac Mizrahi, James Corden, Jason Collins, Jessica Alba, Julian Fellows, Kathy Freston, Lance Bass, Lee Daniels, Lindsay Fellows, Matt Damon, Matthew Morrison, Melissa Benoist, Michael Douglas, Myanna Buring, Ned Benson, Philip Noyce, Rachel Dratch, Rick Edwards , Rory O’Malley, Rosie O’Donnell, Ryan Reynolds, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Stephen Fry, Tim Gunn, Will Poulter and Zac Posen
 
Commented Tyldum: “I recently received a letter from a 92 year-old man who was one of those prosecuted decades ago; he expressed how thankful he was for THE IMITATION GAME shedding light on the matter. It’s incredibly moving to see the outpouring of support for this petition and men like him, who have deserved justice for so long.”
 
Said Cumberbatch: “Alan Turing was not only prosecuted, but quite arguably persuaded to end his own life early, by a society who called him a criminal for simply seeking out the love he deserved, as all human beings do,” he wrote. “Sixty years later, that same government claimed to ‘forgive’ him by pardoning him. I find this deplorable, because Turing’s actions did not warrant forgiveness – theirs did – and the 49,000 other prosecuted men deserve the same.”
 
TWC released THE IMITATION GAME in select theaters on November 28th and nationwide on December 25th. The film, which was produced by Black Bear Pictures and Bristol Automotive, has been nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Cumberbatch), Best Supporting Actress (Knightley), Best Director (Tyldum) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Moore.) It was also nominated for 5 Golden Globe Awards, included in the American Film Institute’s top 11 films of the year and nominated for 3 Screen Actors Guild Awards. Directed by Tyldum with a screenplay by Moore and produced by Grossman, Ostrowsky and Schwarzman, the film stars Cumberbatch, Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Charles Dance and Mark Strong.
 
During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of ‘gross indecency’, an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality – little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing. Famously leading a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers, he was credited with cracking the so-called unbreakable codes of Germany’s World War II Enigma machine. An intense and haunting portrayal of a brilliant, complicated man, THE IMITATION GAME follows a genius who under nail-biting pressure helped to shorten the war and, in turn, save millions of lives.
 
ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes. During Harvey and Bob’s tenure at Miramax and TWC, they have received 341 Oscar nominations and won 79 Academy Awards.
 
Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; 1408; I’M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD; HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; BLUE VALENTINE; THE KING’S SPEECH; THE COMPANY MEN; MIRAL; SCRE4M; SUBMARINE; DIRTY GIRL; APOLLO 18; OUR IDIOT BROTHER; I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT; SARAH’S KEY; SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D; MY WEEK WITH MARILYN; THE IRON LADY; W.E.; CORIOLANUS; UNDEFEATED; THE ARTIST; BULLY; THE INTOUCHABLES; LAWLESS; KILLING THEM SOFTLY; THE MASTER; SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK; DJANGO UNCHAINED; QUARTET; ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH; DARK SKIES; THE SAPPHIRES; SCARY MOVIE 5; KON-TIKI; UNFINISHED SONG; FRUITVALE STATION; LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER; THE GRANDMASTER; SALINGER; 12-12-12; PHILOMENA; MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM; AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY; VAMPIRE ACADEMY; THE RAILWAY MAN; THE IMMIGRANT; YVES SAINT LAURENT; BEGIN AGAIN; THE GIVER; FRANK MILLER’S SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR; THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY; TRACKS and ST. VINCENT; THE IMITATION GAME AND PADDINGTON. Upcoming releases include WOMAN IN GOLD, UNDERDOGS and SOUTHPAW.
 
TWC boasts an active television production division which garnered nine Emmy nominations in 2013 and five in 2014. TWC Television produces the reality powerhouse Project Runway, with its spin-off series Project Runway All Stars and Under The Gunn.  Recent TWC television productions include Mob Wives, Million Dollar Shoppers, Rodeo Girls and Trailer Park: Welcome to Myrtle Manor. Scripted projects currently in production include John Fusco’s Marco Polo. Scripted projects in development include Ten Commandments and Daniel Stashower’s The Hour Of Peril.  TWC also developed Nanny Diaries and produced The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.

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