| Natalie Finn 26. Januar 2015 – 14:31
This was not one of those genius moments for Benedict Cumberbatch.
The Sherlock star smartly pronounced himself an “idiot” today after using the word “colored” during a recent conversation about diversity in Hollywood, a hot-button issue of late after the Academy failed to nominate any performances given by non-white actors this year for an Oscar, the most talked-about snub being Selma star David Oyelowo.
During an appearance on PBS’ Tavis Smiley last week, Cumberbatch reportedly said that “as far as colored actors go,” there were more opportunities in the United States than there were in his native Britain.
Um…hmm. Doesn’t really sound like the classically trained thesp, does it?
Benedict’s star-making roles
In response to the U.K.-based organization Show Racism the Red Card, which stated that it appreciated Cumberbatch being involved in the larger conversation about diversity but pointed out his use of such an”outdated” term as “colored,” the Oscar-nominated actor expressed his regret in a statement released today to his rep and obtained by E! News.
“I’m devastated to have caused offense by using this outmoded terminology,” Cumberbatch said. “I offer my sincere apologies. I make no excuse for my being an idiot and know the damage is done.
READ: Jessica Chastain “stunned” by racist comments after speech encouraging diversity in Hollywood
“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.”
Nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for The Imitation Game for his role as mathematician Alan Turing, who was instrumental in cracking the German Enigma code during WWII but was then prosecuted for being gay by the British government, Cumberbatch also played a relatively humane plantation owner in last year’s Best Picture Oscar winner, 12 Years a Slave.
Here’s who is nominated for Oscars this year