Refugee Advocate Benedict Cumberbatch Explains Why He Ruled Out Bringing Syrian Refugees Into His Own Home

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is known as a vocal advocate for Syrian refugee relief.

After performances of Hamlet in London at the height of the crisis, for example, he implored the audience in the theater to pass the hat and contribute cash to help displaced Syrian children.

At one curtain call, using an expletive, he denounced British politicians for their willingness to only admit 20,000 Syrian refugees into the U.K., Breitbart News reported.

The Dr. Strange actor now admits that he had a knee-jerk reaction to the refugee crisis, especially as a new father, which caused him at times to become over-excited. As a human being, though, he felt he had to do something about the situation, and would do it again, if necessary.

Underscoring that he has no regrets about using his entertainment platform to bring attention to the crisis, Benedict Cumberbatch explained to The Big Issue why he and his wife decided against housing refugees under their own roof.

“…[P]eople were saying, ‘You’ve got a home, why don’t you house refugees?’ And we did look into it. But we had, then, a very new baby — maybe four or five months old. Maybe people had a point. I understand why some might think I should be housing people instead of complaining about a government not doing it. But I was trying to raise awareness that we can do more as a society. Because I do feel we are able to do more than just recovering bodies.”

Benedict Cumberbatch made family decision about Syrian refugees
[Image by Jess Baumung/Invision/AP Images]

Affluent, high-status individuals, who move in elite circles and engage in social activism that generally doesn’t affect them personally, are often referred to as limousine liberals, or champagne socialists in the U.K., by their detractors.

“No refugee will ever take away [Cumberbatch’s] job. No poorly-vetted refugee from a collapsed state like Syria will ever cause problems in his neighborhood, bother his wife, or sneak past his security,” Breitbart claimed.

The Guardian insists however, that no hypocrisy was involved in the decision that Benedict Cumberbatch made.

“Obviously, a famous person homing a refugee would be very valuable in terms of publicity and visibility. However, it’s also a major decision and even celebrities have real lives and families going on. The point is that, if someone such as Cumberbatch decides that they can’t do it, they’re no more ‘hypocritical’ than anyone else who worries about refugees, donates money, signs petitions, raises awareness, but doesn’t feel able to actually house someone.”

The surge of millions of migrants from Syria and elsewhere into Europe partially explains the results of today’s general election in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who green-lighted the wave of newcomers, won reelection to a fourth term, but the vote share of her governing CDU/CSU bloc fell to about 33 percent of the vote (the worst showing in the post-World War II era), which will require her to attempt to form a new government with several small parties.

Merkel rival Martin Schulz, of the second-place-finishing Social Democrats (with just 21 percent, also a post-war low), has already announced that his party will leave the existing coalition. At the same time, the anti-immigration, populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) movement, which has only been on the scene for four years, won 13 percent of the vote in a historic breakthrough, allowing it to enter parliament as the country’s third-largest political party.

“Commentators called the AfD’s strong performance a ‘watershed moment’ in the history of the German republic,” AFP noted.

[Featured Image by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Images]