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Anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card said the term “coloured” is now outdated and has the potential to cause offence.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