Benedict Cumberbatch Calls Himself an Idiot for Using Term ‘Colored Actors’

Benedict's Imitations
Watch Benedict Cumberbatch impersonate other celebrities.
The much beloved actor Benedict Cumberbatch suffered from a huge case of “foot in mouth” disease referred to his black colleagues as “colored actors” in an interview with Tavis Smiley on PBS last week.

This was Benedict’s comment:

“As far as colored actors go, it gets really difficult in the UK,” the 12 Years a Slave actor said in the interview. “I think a lot of my friends have had more opportunities [in the U.S.] than in the UK, and that’s something that needs to change.”

One anti-racism charity, Show Racism The Red Card, commended Cumberbatch for shedding light on the inequality of acting parts, but told The Independent, “[He] also inadvertently highlighted the issue of appropriate terminology and the evolution of language.”

He issued a statement last night (Jan. 26, 2015) that read:

“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 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 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.”

Cumberbatch has been busy this awards season thanks to his critically acclaimed performance in The Imitation Game.

“It’s something else. At best you’re being recognized for something you love doing, but yeah, it’s bizarre,” Cumberbatch recently told CBS News. “I mean, it’s great, but it’s bizarre.”