Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch tells men to ‘shut up and listen’

Nov 25, 2021
Benedict Cumberbatch criticises toxic masculinity: ‘We need to fix the behaviour of men'. Credit: Getty.

Oscar award-winning actor Benedict Cumberbatch is calling out “toxic masculinity” saying men’s behaviour needs to be “fixed”.

In a recent interview with Sky News, the 45-year-old Sherlock and The Imitation Game star spoke candidly about toxic masculinity, a term used by society to describe the gendered stereotype placed on men that prevents them from expressing their emotions healthily. 

Cumberbatch said that “in a world that’s questioning and ripping into and finally pointing out the inadequacies of the status quo and the patriarchy”, it was even more important to “lift up the lid of the engine a bit” to try to understand the extent of the problem.  

“Because you get this sort of rebellion aspect [from men today], this denial, this sort of childish defensive position of ‘not all men are bad’,” Cumberbatch says. 

In the interview, Cumberbatch explains that men don’t get enough recognition for the emotional abuse and disadvantages they face due to the unpopular gender stereotype, saying “we just have to shut up and listen”.

“We’re living through an era now where survivors of abuse can speak and are having a platform,” Cumberbatch says. 

The highly-respected British star’s provocative comments come as he promotes his latest film, Power of the Dog, which explores all aspects of a toxic male-dominated society, according to Cumberbatch. 

This wouldn’t be the first time the actor has spoken out about “problematic” characters. Earlier this year, in an interview with Esquire, Cumberbatch admitted he had initial “doubts” about playing Marvel superhero Doctor Strange, explaining he once thought the character was “dated” and “sexist”. So much so that the actor actually had to be “sold” on the bigger picture.

Speaking with Sky News, Cumberbatch suggested that “somewhere along the line, maybe not now, but somewhere along the line, we need to do what the film [Power of the Dog] does as well, which is examine the reason behind the oppressive behaviour to fix the men”.

Power of the Dog is now showing in cinemas and also stars American actress, Kirsten Dunst, who plays the widow who is tormented by Cumberbatch’s toxic character. 

Do you agree with Benedict Cumberbatch that men need to listen more?

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