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Benedict Cumberbatch Apologizes For Using The Term “Colored Actors”



Benedict Cumberbatch came under fire this week for using the seemingly outdated term, “colored actors” during an interview on the Tavis Smiley PBS show. The actor is now apologizing, saying that he is an “idiot” and that he’s “devastated” to have “caused offense.”

Cumberbatch, who is nominated for an Oscar for his role in The Imitation Game, was discussing diversity in roles when he explained: “I think as far as colored actors go it gets really different in the U.K and a lot of my friends have had more opportunities here [in the U.S.] than in the U.K., and that’s something that needs to change. Something’s gone wrong. We’re not representative enough in our culture of different races, and that really does need to step up apace.”

The 12 Years a Slave actor apologized in a statement to People that read:

“I’m devastated to have caused offense by using this outmoded terminology. I offer my sincere apologies. I make no excuse for my being an idiot and know the damage is done.”

“I can only hope this incident will highlight the need for correct usage of terminology that is accurate and inoffensive. The most shaming aspect of this for me is that I was talking about racial inequality in the performing arts in the U.K. and the need for rapid improvements in our industry when I used the term.”

“I feel the complete fool I am and while I am sorry to have offended people and to learn from my mistakes in such a public manner please be assured I have. I apologize again to anyone who I offended for this thoughtless use of inappropriate language about an issue which affects friends of mine and which I care about deeply.”

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