Benedict Cumberbatch apologises for 'racist' remarks

  • PTI, Los Angeles
  • Updated: Jan 27, 2015 14:35 IST

The Imitation Game star Benedict Cumberbatch came under fire after using racist term "coloured" to address black actors on a PBS talk show, Tavis Smiley.

Cumberbatch, 38, released a statement to apologise for his controversial remark, reported Ace Showbiz.

"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."

He added, "I can only hope this incident will highlight the need for correct usage 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 apologise again to anyone I offended for this thoughtless use of inappropriate language about an issue which affect friends of mine and which I care about deeply," the actor continued.

Many supports came from Cumberbatch's fans on Twitter after he released the apology statement. A fan said, "Benedict Cumberbatch isn't racist, coloured is still a really common term in England, PC drives me mad."

Another said, "I understand 'coloured' is not an appropriate term but Benedict Cumberbatch is clearly not racist."

The actor made the controversial remark last week when appearing on Tavis Smiley. Asked about black British actors Chiwetel Ejiofor and David Oyelowo who starred in 12 Years a Slave and Selma respectively, he said, "I think as far as coloured 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," he said.

"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," he added.

Cumberbatch's comments come amidst ongoing controversy around the lack of diversity in this year's Oscar nominations.

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