David Oyelowo Defends Benedict Cumberbatch
Selma star David Oyelowo is defending actor Benedict Cumberbatch over comments the Sherlock actor made during an interview on Tavis Smiley.
Cumberbatch said last week that “as far as colored actors go,” there were more opportunities in the U.S. than Britain. “That’s something that needs to change,” he added. “Something’s gone wrong. We’re not representative enough in our culture of different races, and that really does need to step up apace.”
As expected, critics piled on the actor for his use of the term “colored,” but Oyelowo who plays Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma says people need to listen to the essence of Cumberbatch’s plea. “In relation to Benedict, it’s definitely gone too far in terms of political correctness,” the actor said at the London premiere of Selma. “He was actually being very supportive of the likes of me, and other black actors and actresses — we do have greater opportunities in the U.S. in relation to the U.K.”
“We use the term ‘people of color’ in America. Is that immensely different to what he said? I don’t think so, just focus on what he was trying to say.”
Cumberbatch has already issued an apology for his word choice, calling it “thoughtless use of inappropriate language.”
“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.”