26 January 2015
From the section Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch says he’s “devastated to have caused offence” after referring to black actors as “coloured” on a US talk show.
He was talking about diversity in British acting when he said it.
Anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card says the term is “outdated” and can cause offence.
The Sherlock actor has since apologised and says he makes no excuse for “being an idiot”.
The Oscar-nominated actor was telling American television presenter Tavis Smiley that he believes Hollywood offers more opportunities for black actors than the UK does.
He said: “I think 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.”
His comments were quickly criticised online and charity Show Racism the Red Card said that he had “highlighted the issue of appropriate terminology”.
They said: “The term ‘coloured’ is now outdated and has the potential to cause offence due to the connotations associated with the term and its historical usage.”
In a statement the 38-year-old said: “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.
“I apologise 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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Source:: BBC Entertainment