Connect with us

Benedict Cumberbatch apologizes for calling black people coloured

All round

Benedict Cumberbatch apologizes for calling black people coloured

get top stories via email

During a US television interview, Benedict Cumberbatch referred to black actors as “coloured,” and he has since apologized, stating he is “devastated” to have offended people.

The “12 Years a Slave” actor called himself an “idiot” and claimed he was “devastated” by his word choice during a discussion about the lack of diversity in the British film industry.

Anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card says the term is “outdated”.

The Oscar-nominated actor was discussing his opinion that Hollywood provides black actors with more opportunities than the UK with American television host Tavis Smiley.

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.”


Following the interview, a large number of people criticized the actor on social media for using ‘racist’ and ‘inappropriate’ language.

In response, Cumberbatch apologized for using the phrase in an “incorrect” and “offensive” manner.

He said: ‘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.’

“I can only hope that this incident will highlight the need for correct usage of terminology that is accurate and inoffensive,” continued Cumberbatch, who was nominated for an Oscar for The Imitation Game.

‘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 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.’

According to a representative of a British anti-racism organization, Cumberbatch “highlighted a very serious issue within the entertainment business and within society.”

“The lack of representation of people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds within certain industries in the U.K. is an issue which needs addressing, and we are pleased that Benedict has spoken out in support of more appropriate representation and of the views of actors and campaigners like Lenny Henry,” the spokesperson for Show Racism the Red Card told the newspaper. “In doing so, he has also inadvertently highlighted the issue of appropriate terminology and the evolution of language. Show Racism the Red Card feel that 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”

“Appropriate terminology differs from country to country; for example, we know that in some countries the term ‘coloured’ is still widely used, and that in the US the term ‘people of colour’ is quite common.”

Popular Posts:

get top stories via email

New Stories

To Top