Benedict Cumberbatch sorry for 'colored' remark28 january 2015, 14:35
Benedict Cumberbatch apologized and said he was "devastated" after the Oscar-nominated actor referred to black colleagues as "colored" in a US television interview, AFP reports.
The Briton, recently nominated for an Oscar for his role in "The Imitation Game," said that he "sincerely" apologized.
"I'm devastated to have caused offense by using this outmoded terminology," he said in a statement.
Cumberbatch, who shot to prominence for his role in the British TV series "Sherlock," said that using the sensitive term while talking about racial inequality made the misstep even more "shaming."
"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 of terminology that is accurate and inoffensive."
Cumberbatch was being interviewed on the PBS network Wednesday when he used the word. He was speaking with the host about a lack of racial diversity in British culture compared to the US.
"As far as colored actors go, it gets really difficult in the UK and I think a lot of my friends have had more opportunities here than in the UK, and that's something that needs to change," he said.
The controversy comes weeks before the Oscars, where Cumberbatch is nominated for best lead actor.
In 2013 Oscar winner "12 Years a Slave" he played a sympathetic slave owner.
Cumberbatch has acknowledged his ancestors were powerful slave-owners and his name became common in Barbados as a result.