Cumberbatch apologises for using ‘coloured’

Benedict Cumberbatch last night apologised for referring to "coloured actors" on US television, saying he had been an idiot. The Sherlock star was criticised after using the phrase on a debate on the lack of diversity on British screens.

He issued a statementlast night saying: “I’m devastated to have caused offence 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.”

He added: “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 UK 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.

Cumberbatch said on US show Tavis Smiley, as reported by The Independent: ‘‘As far as coloured actors go it gets really difficult in the UK, and a lot of my friends have had more opportunities here (in the US) than in the UK and that’s something that needs to change.’’

Anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card said the term “coloured” is now outdated and has the potential to cause offence.


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