Cumberbatch says sorry for calling black actors ‘colored’

In this Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 file photo, actor Benedict Cumberbatch poses for photographers upon his arrival at the world premiere of the film The Hobbit, The Battle of the Five Armies in London. Benedict Cumberbatch says he was an "idiot" to refer to non-white actors as "colored." In a statement Monday Jan. 26, 2015 Cumberbatch apologized for his "thoughtless use of inappropriate language." (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, File)

LONDON (AP) — Benedict Cumberbatch says he was an “idiot” to refer to non-white actors as “colored.”

The Academy Award-nominated actor used the word on PBS talk show “Tavis Smiley” last week while discussing diversity in the entertainment industry. He said that “as far as colored actors go,” there were more opportunities in the U.S. than Britain, “and that’s something that needs to change.”

British anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card said it welcomed Cumberbatch’s comments on diversity but felt the term he used was “outdated.”

In a statement Monday, Cumberbatch apologized for his “thoughtless use of inappropriate language.”

He said: “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.”

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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