Recently, at a private club overlooking the lawns and azure swimming pools of Beverly Hills, I met screen writer Graham Moore. Graham is a short, boyish man with a winning smile. I thought he was cute, I thought he was gay. He was finishing his lunch, I wanted to know more about him.
I was delighted when he told me he had written Alan Turing’s long awaited bio pic The Imitation Game now starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. He was also chemically castrated by the British government for being gay. After questioning Moore about his film and the route he had chosen to take… specifically regarding Turing’s gayness, Graham rapidly lost his sweet smile, becoming very tight lipped.
I wanted to know if there was any gay sex/love in the film? “No”, he replied abruptly, his tone changing… as if this question had been asked too many times, or… this was a question that he had been expecting, but didn’t want to answer. Realizing there was something amiss, I asked Graham if he was gay. Graham told me that he is a straight man.
I told him rather grandly that all of my films had gay themes. Perhaps, sensing my ire, my gay militancy or simply knowing that a gay film maker in Hollywood is perceived as a lesser film maker, to some… no more than a pornographer, Moore boasted that he had gone to great lengths to purge the film of anything gay. He didn’t want Turing’s gayness to be a ‘distraction’. He didn’t want gay sex to ‘put off the majority’. He was adamant that he didn’t want his film to be a gay film.
I warned him that his rather old fashioned attitude could cause a backlash… that Turing was an important part of our LGBT history. That Alan Turing had been tortured by the state for being gay. Moore scoffed that I was still in a minority and people were interested in Turing the man and not Turing the gay man.
Apparently Graham Moore did a very good job of avoiding the truth….
Benedict Cumberbatch has defended the lack of gay sex in his upcoming Alan Turing biopic.
The gay World War II codebreaker – often hailed as the grandfather of modern computing – was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ in 1952 after having sex with a man, and was chemically castrated, barred from working for GCHQ, and eventually driven to suicide.
However, the upcoming biopic of Turing’s life, which stars Cumberbatch, has attracted criticism for focussing on his brief engagement to fellow codebreaker Joan Clarke, played by Kiera Knightly, instead of his romances with other men.
Cumberbatch told The Wrap: “You don’t see him having sex. It’s not an exploration of someone’s sex life.”
He added that the film attempted to make his sexuality known through dialogue, saying: “The fact [is mentioned] that he’s chemically castrated because he admits to being a homosexual – he talks about entreating a young man to touch his penis. I mean, it’s pretty explicit.
“If you need to see that to understand that he’s gay, then all is lost for any kind of subtle storytelling. It’s not something that needed to be made obvious.
“The conversations are so naked in themselves that the idea of having to see two naked men wasn’t something I ever thought was missing in the script.”
Turing’s biographer Andrew Hodges previously said he was “alarmed by the inaccuracies” in the film, adding: “They have built up the relationship with Joan much more than it actually was. Their relationship is invented.”
There are further problems with the historical accuracy of The Imitation Game, notably the absurd implication that Turing may have been a traitor, read about this in fascinating Guardian article HERE.