Arts and Culture

Ian Mckellen said “as a gay man”, interpreter ignored!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sir Ian Mckellen received a reward from Istanbul Film Festival. During his speech at the opening gala he said, “as an openly gay man” but interpreter didn’t translate it into Turkish.

Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (ÝKSV), Istanbul Film Festival’s 36th edition kicked off with an opening gala on Tuesday night, 4 April. The opening gala brought the stars and distinguished figures of the Turkish cinema together at TÝM Show Center where Cinema Honorary Awards and plaques were presented.

Sir Ian Mckellen was one of the actors who won award. During his speech at the gala he said, “as an open gay man”. However, the intrepreter of the festival ignored this phrase. LGBTI activist Seçil Epik told KaosGL.org what happened during the gala:

“After invited to the stage by Kerem Ayan one of the coordinators of Istanbul Art and Culture Foundation Film Festival to take his Honor Award, Ian McKellen started to introduce himself by telling that he is 78 years old, he was born in England and he identified himself as an actor from Great Britain. Then he continued his speech with the words “as an openly gay man”, but the simultaneous interpreter did not translate those words in Turkish. Firstly Keren Ayan on the stage, then the audiences who knows English were in a little bit of shock. Subsequently, even if Ian McKellen understood that something went wrong with the translation and looked at the interpreter, the programme flow continued as if nothing had happened.”

Murathan Mungan: Great shame!

Famous poet and author Murathan Mungan shared the incident from his social media account:

“A great shame happened during the opening gala of the Istanbul Film Festival. As a gay rights activist as well as a great actor, Ian Mckellen started his sentence while mentioning the bans on Turkey stated, “As an openly gay man” however simultaneous interpreter skipped this sentence, censored it. It is worrisome that even in the Istanbul Film Festival organisation there are ‘morality guards’ regarding the internalisation of fear, oppression, anxiety and homophobia.”

Mckellen’s Istanbul programme

One of the most beloved actors of the screen and theatre with his outstanding performances in Richard III, Gods and Monsters, Lord of the Rings series and X-Men, Sir Ian McKellen has also been the ambassador of British Council’s Shakespeare Lives programme in 2016 Opens in a new tab or window.

Sir Ian McKellen will be the guest of Istanbul Film Festival by IKSV and receive a cinema honorary award. Sir Ian will also be meeting LGBT groups to support equality.

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