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Benedict Cumberbatch Talks About Coloured Actors. Wait, What?

Lanre Bakare | The Guardian   in  · ·
January 27, 2015

Benedict Cumberbatch has apologised after referring to black actors as “coloured” during an interview on US television, saying he is “devastated” to have caused offence.

The Sherlock actor said he was “an idiot” after he used the phrase during a debate, ironically about the diversity problems that black British actors face in the UK compared to the US, which he argued has been more open to casting them.

Talking on the Tavis Smiley show on PBS, Cumberbatch 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 America] than in the UK, and that’s something that needs to change.”

Reaction was mixed after the actor – who has been nominated for an Oscar for his role in The Imitation Game – used the outdated term, with many praising the sentiment of his argument but lamenting his poor choice of words.


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