Top of the month: Benedict Cumberbatch recovers from race row

In an interview on American talk show Tavis Smiley, actor Benedict Cumberbatch caused controversy when he raised the issue of diversity within acting.

He 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 the US] than in the UK, and that’s something that needs to change."

Despite his good intentions, Cumberbatch hit headlines for his use of the outdated term ‘coloured’. The actor issued an apology, in which he said he was "devastated". He continued: "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."

Since the online backlash, his apology has been praised for not trying to justify his words or fish for sympathy. It has been pointed out that organisations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People still exist without causing offence.

David Oyelowo, the British-born actor playing Martin Luther King in civil rights drama Selma, said the criticism of Cumberbatch was "ridiculous". He said: "When you look at what he was actually saying it’s clear that he’s a huge supporter of black performers. To attack him for a term is disingenuous."

After the wise apology, Cumberbatch has again come up smelling of roses.

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