HOLLYWOOD stars claiming Britain would be better in the EU have raked in millions from films backed by cash from Brussels, The Sun can reveal.
Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Steve Coogan, Dominic West and Benedict Cumberbatch were among more than 200 celebs who signed a “luvvie letter” calling for voters to reject Brexit yesterday.
But they were branded “the pampered products of a subsidised system” last night after our investigation revealed a string of their films have been backed by European taxpayers’ cash.
Some 15 of the 18 big-name actors who signed the controversial campaign missive have appeared in movies which received £3.6million of EU grants in today’s money.
Leading directors and writers who also signed have enjoyed similar funding — with most of the cash coming from Brussels’ Media Programme. It helps fund “the development, promotion and distribution of European works within Europe and beyond”.
The anti-Brexit star who enjoyed the most taxpayer-backed credits was Helena Bonham Carter, our investigation reveals.
Four of her films — Great Expectations, The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child and The King’s Speech — received grants worth £914,038, according to the EU’s Media Films Database.
John Hurt’s The Last Panthers got £772,516, while Dominic West starred in two films — Pride and The Awakening — boosted by £704,963.
Knightley movies Bend it Like Beckham and A Dangerous Method got a joint £398,569, while Cumberbatch hit Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy received £331,868 for support and distribution in Holland and Russia.
Five of Coogan’s big-screen projects — 24 Hour Party People, Cock and Bull Story, Philomena, The Look of Love and The Trip — received £160,889 of grants.
Leading figures behind the camera of similarly funded films Slumdog Millionaire, The Iron Lady, The Queen and Hunger also signed the pro-EU letter yesterday.
Directors Danny Boyle, Stephen Frears and Steve McQueen, plus writer Abi Morgan, were among 282 figures from the “creative industries” who threw their weight behind the Remain campaign.
Their letter claimed a Brexit on June 23 would make the UK “an outsider shouting from the wings”.
The signatories, who also included musicians and poets, will have benefitted from millions more EU cash than The Sun was able to trace in a day. That’s because the EU backs a variety of culture projects.
And they faced a hail of criticism last night for lining their pockets at taxpayers’ expense.
The creatives did admit: “From the smallest gallery to the biggest blockbuster, many of us have worked on projects that would never have happened without vital EU funding or by collaborating across borders.”
But Ukip culture spokesman Peter Whittle said our revelations showed how they were the “pampered products of a subsidised system”.
Tory MP and fellow Brexit campaigner Nigel Adams, who sits on the Commons Culture Select Committee, said: “It’s no surprise that these luvvies are for staying in the EU when their pay checks are funded by the same institution.
“Well-paid turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.”
Kwasi Kwarteng, the Tory MP for Spelthorne, also criticised them, saying: “These people are living in cloud cuckoo land. Obviously it is not their jobs that are under threat from uncontrolled migration and obviously the EU pumps huge sums of money into this charade.
“Half of these people spend most of their time in America from what I can see, and none spend any time in the real world.”
Ukip leader Nigel Farage added: “They are rich luvvies, living in £5million houses in Notting Hill.
“Of course they want to stay in the EU. Their lives are great, they are wonderful.”
However, PM David Cameron hailed the luvvie letter yesterday as he toured the Beatles’ world-famous Abbey Road studios.
He took part in a round table discussion with stars including West, who starred in The Wire. After a Creative Industries Federation survey found 96 per cent of its members back Remain, the PM said: “Whether it is music or film, art or video games, the UK leads Europe.
“More than most, this is a sector that thrives on being open to the world outside — whether it’s bringing in talent, filming on location or simply having access to the Single Market of 500million people across Europe.
“The results of Creative Industries Federation’s survey are clear: we are better off in a reformed European Union than out on our own. To leave would be a leap in the dark.”
Controversial former England footballer Joey Barton also declared his support for staying in the EU with a foul-mouthed rant on Twitter.
In a stream of messages, he said: “Very rare to see PM and leader of the opposition agree on same thing in this day and age. Huge indicator in my opinion. #EUreferendum Plus the walking, talking contradiction @BorisJohnson has taken a stand. If he says go left, I’d take a right. The man is a prized c***.
“If you’re unsure, it’s better to stick with what you have. We have it not bad as a whole.”
He went on: “You must always be wary of any group containing Gove, Farage, Boris, IDS and Grayling. Like a one-stop threat-to-humanity-shop that mob.”
ALAN Partridge star Steve said he does not like Ukip as he is pro-EU.
24 Hour Party People — £5,022
Cock and Bull Story — £13,768
Philomena — £59,198
The Look of Love — £78,811
The Trip — £14,090
SHE said: “At home, French and English were interchangeable within a sentence.”
Great Expectations — £82,385
Gruffalo — £77,247
The Gruffalo’s Child — £49,439
The King’s Speech — £704,967
Benedict, 39, reportedly said “f*** the politicians” during a speech in October about the refugee crisis. He then told of a pal’s experience as a volunteer helping migrants in Lesbos.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy — £331,868
INTRODUCING fashion director Pierpaolo Piccioli at an awards bash last year she said: “Oh, I don’t know how to say your surname, it’s so difficult.”
A Dangerous Method — £250,292
Bend It Like Beckham — £148,277
HAS previously campaigned for Britain to introduce a Robin Hood tax on banking.
He said: “France, Germany and nine other European countries are about to introduce it.”
Pride received £557,340 from EU.
SHE has long pressed for Britain to welcome more refugees to Britain.
Last year she met Syrian migrants arriving in Britain.
Bend It Like Beckham was made with the help of a £148,277 grant from the EU.
HURT once said remembering the war dead can help prevent more.
He said: “There’s more chance of successfully keeping the peace if we do remember than if we don’t.”
The Last Panthers — £772,516
WROTE an opinion piece for The Guardian where he praised the EU.
He said: “I love that after years of fighting each other, now we just argue in conference rooms.”
Europe: Who do you think you are? — £74,927
DAVID Cameron tried to recreate the Fab Four’s Abbey Road cover but no celebs would join him.
Instead he crossed the famous London road with Dame Tessa Jowell instead.
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