Cumberbatch: Sorry for Using the Term 'Colored'

Actor says he feels like a 'complete fool'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2015 10:10 AM CST
Cumberbatch: Sorry for Using the Term 'Colored'
In this Sept. 8, 2013 file photo, actor Benedict Cumberbatch poses for a portrait during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

Whoops: The seemingly always charming Benedict Cumberbatch has finally put his foot in his mouth, the Huffington Post reports. During an interview on the Tavis Smiley show on PBS last week, Cumberbatch was asked about diversity in acting roles and said, "I think as far as colored actors go it gets really different 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. Something's gone wrong. We're not representative enough in our culture of different races, and that really does need to step up apace." Of course, Cumberbatch was quickly called out for using the term "colored."

Yesterday, he apologized, telling People he feels like a "complete fool." "I'm devastated to have caused offense by using this outmoded terminology," he said in a statement. "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 UK and the need for rapid improvements in our industry when I used the term. ... 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." (Click to see Cumberbatch prove he can pronounce the word "penguins.")

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