Benedict Cumberbatch Calls Himself an ”Idiot,” Apologizes After Using the Word ”Colored” to Refer to Black Actors

Well, Benedict Cumberbatch has had better days.

The "Imitation Game" star smartly pronounced himself an "idiot" Monday after using the word "colored" during a recent conversation about racial diversity in Hollywood, a hot-button issue of late after the Academy failed to nominate any performances given by actors of color this year for an Oscar, with 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.

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The U.K.-based organization Show Racism the Red Card said that it appreciated Cumberbatch's participation in the larger conversation about diversity but pointed out his use of such an "outdated" term as "colored." In response, the Oscar-nominated actor expressed his regret in a statement released 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.

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"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 playing 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."

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