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Piers Morgan brands Alan Cumming ‘pathetic’ after OBE return

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Piers Morgan took to social media and blasted Alan Cumming after he returned the OBE he was awarded in 2009 as part of the Queen’s birthday honours list. The Scottish-born actor said although he had been “grateful”, his eyes were now “opened” over “the toxicity of empire”.

The X-Men star, who also hosts the US version of TV show The Traitors, said the OBE was for his acting, but also for “activism for equal rights for the gay and lesbian community [in the] USA”.

“Thankfully, times and laws in the US have changed,” he added.

The Scottish actor, writer and presenter said he was returning the award on his 58th birthday, and it was something he “recently did for myself”.

Alan has returned a prestigious royal award in an effort to sever his association with the “toxicity” of the British Empire.

The Officer of the British Empire (OBE) award is given to individuals who make a positive impact in their field.

Taking to Twitter today, Piers claimed the actor was “attention-seeking”.

The TalkTV retweeted an article which read: “Scottish actor Alan Cumming has handed back his OBE due to his ‘misgivings’ with being associated with the ‘toxicity’ of the British Empire,” in view of his 8.3 million followers.

Piers fumed: “What a pathetic, disingenuous, disloyal, attention-seeking little twerp.”

 

The former Good Morning Britain presenter sparked a divide in the comment section as some social media users defended Alan’s decision.

Joanne tweeted: “He has every right to if he wants. Good on him!”

Value Seeker commented: “Should get rid of OBE’s anyway,” while Terry added: “His decision.”

Others agreed with Piers, as Telboy remarked: “First time I’ve agreed with you on anything.”

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Dave added: “Hopefully the OBE can be given to someone who deserves it.”

Taking to Instagram on Friday, Alan issued a lengthy statement explaining his decision to return the award on his birthday.

He began: “Today is my 58th birthday and I want to tell you about something I recently did for myself. I returned my OBE.

“Fourteen years ago, I was incredibly grateful to receive it in the 2009 Queen’s birthday honours list, for it was awarded not just for my job as an actor but ‘for activism for equal rights for the gay and lesbian community, USA’.

“Back then the Defence of Marriage Act ensured that same sex couples couldn’t get married or enjoy the same basic legal rights as straight people, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ensured that openly gay, lesbian or bisexual people were barred from serving in the military. (Incidentally both these policies were instituted by the Clinton administration).”

He continued: “This is the statement I made at the time: ‘I am really shocked and delighted to receive this honour. I am especially happy to be honoured for my activism as much as for my work.

‘The fight for equality for the LGBT community in the US is something I am very passionate about, and I see this honour as encouragement to go on fighting for what I believe is right and for what I take for granted as a UK citizen.

‘Thank you to the Queen and those who make up her Birthday honours list for bringing attention to the inaction of the US government on this issue. It makes me very proud to be British, and galvanised as an American’.”

He went on: “The Queen’s death and the ensuing conversations about the role of monarchy and especially the way the British Empire profited at the expense (and death) of indigenous peoples across the world really opened my eyes.

“Also, thankfully, times and laws in the US have changed, and the great good the award brought to the LGBTQ+ cause back in 2009 is now less potent than the misgivings I have being associated with the toxicity of empire (OBE stands for Officer of the British Empire).”

Alan finished: “So I returned my award, explained my reasons and reiterated my great gratitude for being given it in the first place. I’m now back to being plain old Alan Cumming again. Happy birthday to me!”

 

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