So Benedict Cumberbatch, the rather talented chap who plays BBC’s Sherlock, The Hobbit’s Smaug, Doctor Strange, The Imitation Game’s Alan Turing and Ford in 12 Years a Slave amongst many other roles, accidently used the wrong word during a debate on the lack of diversity on British screens on the talk show Tavis Smiley. During the debate, the topic of black people not having as many acting opportunities in the UK as in the US came up, wherein Mr Cumberbatch referred to black people as ‘coloured’ in a passing comment.
Now firstly, the man used the term ‘coloured’ in the same sentence as he was also sticking up for black people and saying how the lack of opportunities in the UK needs to change because he doesn’t think it’s fair that they are being offered more acting opportunities outside of their home countries. So everyone who has leapt at the opportunity to call the man a racist, use your brains and listen to the whole debate rather than the one word and you’ll realise that rather than putting down black people, he is sticking up for black people.
Another point is that Benedict came from a time where using the term ‘black’ to describe a black person was considered wrong and ‘coloured’ was considered right, neither word being particularly offensive. It’s a simple matter of fact case of people wanting to jump on the band wagon of attempting to make a fool out of a good man, and because the term racist has been thrown about the internet, Benedict has had no choice but to respond, his statement being below:
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. 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.
So even Benedict himself comments on the fact that he said this word whilst also trying to get the message across that black people should be given more opportunities. Anyone calling Benedict a racist as result of this very minor slip-up really just needs to jump off the bang wagon and give the man a break. It wasn’t a direct racial dig at black people, he was trying to help black people, so in the words of That’s What You Get, just leave it out.
Watch the controversial clip below: