Benedict Cumberbatch, the Oscar-nominated actor who recently came under fire for calling black actors ‘colored’ in an interview with Tavis Smiley, has apologized over his offensive remarks.
He originally said that he thought Black British actors found more success in the United States versus in England, and that was unfair. “I think as far as colored 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,” he said on The Tavis Smiley Show. “Something’s gone wrong, we’re not representative enough in our culture of different races and that really does need to step up a pace.”
The anti-racism charity, Show Racism the Red Card, called Benedict out saying he “inadvertently highlighted the issue of appropriate terminology and the evolution of language” when he used the outdated term.
The actor, who is nominated for his role in The Imitation Game, issued a statement to People magazine, according to CNN:
“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.”
“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 U.K. 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.”
Take a look at Cumberbatch’s full interview with Smiley below.