Benedict Cumberbatch Apologizes: ‘Thoughtless’ to Call Black Actors ‘Colored’

Melanie Hunter, CNS News, January 26, 2015

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock Holmes on the PBS show “Sherlock,” apologized Monday for using the term “colored” to describe black actors in a discussion about diversity in the entertainment industry on the PBS talk show “Tavis Smiley” last week.

When asked about what makes British actors so appealing to the American audience to the point that even black British actors are “taking jobs,” Cumberbatch said, “I think as far as colored actors go, it gets really difficult in the U.K., and I think a lot of my friends have had more opportunities here than in the U.K., and that’s something that needs to change.”

“It ain’t even just white Brits – it’s black Brits who are taking jobs now. You look at the ‘Selma’ script. You look at ’12 Years a Slave.’ I mean, I love all these actors. They’re wonderful, but you guys are coming over here and just taking over man!” Smiley said on Wednesday’s show.


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

“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,” he added.

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  • MekongDelta69

    Noble and wonderful:
    “People of color.”

    Evil and ‘racist’:
    Colored people”

    • DaveMed

      My thought exactly.

    • Julius Caesar

      People of color?
      I prefer Pickers of cotton.

      • Sick of it

        I’ll go with malevolent murderers and rapists. It’s fitting.

      • model1911

        Obsolete Agricultural Implements.

    • johningermany

      I guess you can just forget “rugheads”.

  • Calling blacks “colored”? Oh, the humanity!

    • David Ashton

      Hardly any of them are really “black”, more a sort of brown. Persons of brown? No, the south Asians don’t like that. One of these days the n-word itself could become fashionable, and our children will have to grovel in sackcloth and ashes for not using it. Big Brother becomes Humpty Dumpty, and is asking for a big fall into a sea of common-sense.

    • Publius Pompilius Quietus

      It’s not enough to accept all of the assumptions of multiculturalism; one must also use the correct terminology while doing so.

      • David Ashton

        Depending on which sect is in control of your area at the time.

      • True, precise and correctly nuanced terms are vital to the Leftist worldview. and must be maintained at all costs.

    • propagandaoftruth

      I hate his stupid cutsey name and his spineless squirming.

      • stewball

        I thought I was the only yid who didn’t like him. Not that I my calling you a yid perish the thought.

        • propagandaoftruth

          1/256th Sephardic, actually.
          How you been doing, darlin’?

          • stewball

            I’ve been doing fine thank you. How about you N?

          • propagandaoftruth

            As a result of lowered expectations not so bad. Yid, lol. Hadn’t heard that in a while.

            The only Benedict I really like that comes to mind is Baruch Spinoza.

            Must be in the blood.

      • gemjunior

        He comes from an old aristocratic British family who had many investments, including slavery and ownership of plantations in the West Indies. How many blacks oh, excuse me, coloreds, oh sorry, negroes, OMG I am so sorry for offending anyone, people of color (that’s better now, isn’t it – hope all the naggers are happy?) that are named Cumberbatch over here ? It’s not quite as big as Washington or Jackson but I’ve known a few by that name. I bet they took the name from the plantation LOL double whammy. That is a messed up surname. It sounds like a gentleman or his butler or something. “Come now, Cumberbatch my good man, let us drink to your new venture in the Africa trade.” He’s a strange looking dude anyway.

    • cherrie greenbaum123

      Yes. Wrong on so many, many levels.

      • propagandaoftruth

        Hey – you got modded!

        Welcome to the troll club, baby. I always liked ya.

        • TCA

          Is there a cyber-graveyard of censored comments? I’d love to read them all.
          Hey John, what do you do with the comments you don’t like?

    • bilderbuster

      Forget “People of Color” or “Colored People”.
      If they’re not White then they’re all “Darkies” to me.

      • mobilebay

        My grandmother used that term years and years ago.

  • David Ashton

    How about a National Association for the Advancement of People of No Color?

    • Samuel Hathaway

      Ever heard that old joke about the NAACP?

      N*gg**s Are Actually Colored Polacks.

      • David Ashton

        ….Communist Poison

        • Samuel Hathaway

          The Moderator deleted our jokes about the NAACP. OH, well, it got at least four hours of readership!

          • The moderator originally applied for a job at MSNBC but was turned down, so he came here. (Hey, moderator, PLEASE! It was a JOKE! Come on now, no need to get mad…..)

      • Please don’t insult the Polish people with any comparison to the NAACP. (sarc off)

      • N****r Association for the Advancement of Communist Principles.

        • Caucasoid88

          Negro Association for Artificially Colored Pinkies.

        • Samuel Hathaway

          For W.E.B. DuBois,that would be correct. he moved to Ghana, Africa were he died as a Communist.

          • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

            Good riddance to DuBois and I hope many more blacks move back to Africa.

          • Not likely. They have it too good here, and they know it.

          • He was actually the last black agitator that I had any respect for. He didn’t like this country and he ultimately got the heck out. I can at least respect someone like that. Another “good” black agitator was Marcus Garvey.

        • Tooth Barkington

          National Association for the Aggrandizement of Crapulous Pimps.

    • Who Me?

      NAAPoC = National Association for the Advancement of People of Color. Until they themselves get with the program, they have no right to demand it of the civilized peoples of the world.

    • stewball

      Everybody’s coloured in one way or another David.

      • David Ashton

        Don’t tell me, tell Cumberbatch &c.

  • Samuel Hathaway

    The silliness of the coloreds is one laughable farce after another. Two black women who were debating at work over what to call themselves, in serious tones, disagreed over what to call themselves. One decided on “African American.” The other decided on “woman of color.” these are the same two women who got into an argument recently over the volume of the television in the office.

    • phillyguy

      they probably also got into an argument about who is going to eat the crumbs on the bottom of the bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken

      • Samuel Hathaway

        The “woman of color”, seriously, says that KFC is not real chicken. She claims it is manufactured. I don’t care… the Colonel is still white… even if two sumo-sized women of color are going grapple and claw each other over the last crumbs in the bottom of the KFC bucket, the wings and the legs sure were good.

        • Katherine McChesney

          Blacks claim that the Colonel stole his recipe from his colored maid.

    • David Ashton

      Me and You.

    • I heard the same argument between two black inmates in the Denver County Jail in 2001.

    • Mary

      After being subjected to similar absurdities at work from these people over the course of a number of years, I’m relieved beyond measure to now be a stay-at-home mom.The sheer torture of being exposed to these nonsensical exchanges over, and over, and over…

      • Samuel Hathaway

        Stay-at-home Moms… the best there are… and the most difficult job you will ever love. My mom was a stay-at-home Mom, too. The de-emphasis on motherhood by the radical femitards and the emphasis on abortion, birth control and lesbian rights is a sign of a declining civilization. they don’t want women being mothers, and their agenda bears that out.

        • Spikeygrrl

          I can’t help but envy all of you who have such glowing recollections of growing up with a SAHM. But I wish my late mother had gone to work instead of staying home. She was an unhappy and disturbed woman and took most of that out on me, the only child (adopted at birth, so at least I’m not carrying her DNA).

          I might have grown up to be just like her {shudder} if not for my father, who was a great Dad and at the same time also provided me with more “mothering” in any given week than Mom could scrape together in any given YEAR.

          I still mourn Dad just about every day. But Mom? I’m just glad she’s finally dead.

    • Spikeygrrl

      The only item in this post which surprised me: You have a television in your workplace?!

      • Samuel Hathaway

        yes, there is a large screen TV mounted on the wall in the office. It normally is on mute. My back is to the TV, so I can’t see it anyway. And, I don’t want to hear it, either.

        • Spikeygrrl

          Wow. My only question at this point is WHY??? Unless your business produces content for television — anything from game shows to hard news, and the office TV is hot & cold running competitive intel — why bring a MASSIVE distraction into the workspace? It’s a nice amenity for a reception lobby/waiting room, but in the actual workspace itself it’s not just unproductive, it’s COUNTERproductive.

          • Sid Ishus

            Waiting areas normally have TVs to keep people distracted.

          • Spikeygrrl

            That’s what I said: reception lobbies and waiting rooms yes, actual workplace no.

          • Sid Ishus

            Apologies, timing is everything.

          • Spikeygrrl

            No harm, no foul.

        • TCA

          So I’m curious which Negress wanted the volume turned down, the African-American, or the woman of color? I’m betting the AA woman wanted it turned down, which is appropriate for an office setting. “African-American” is quite a bit less absurd than ‘woman of color.’

    • stewball

      Who has a TV in the office!

  • dd121

    When I use the term “negro”, I think I’m using the polite form. That’s evolved into a mean racist term sometime during my life. ha ha

    • Samuel Hathaway

      I don’t even discuss these issues with them. They have no clue how I feel about the hypocrisy, the double-standards and what a collection of societal losers they’ve become.

    • TheMaskedUnit

      You could call them anything. The word you use is irrelevant. They are born to be offended.

    • Daniel McGrath

      The word is polluted by what it refers to… Anything you call a black today will be a slur in a few decades

      • dd121

        Thank you. That’s a very good point.

  • Caucasoid88

    The fine print in the PC Code is very hard to memorize. I called a ‘non-binary trans person’ a ‘gender queer’ the other day and I was called out on my cisnormative ignorance. I cried in the shower for three hours and then apologized to Anita Sarkeesian, Reverend Al, and Chaz Bono profusely for my disgusting privilege.

    • Tim

      The whole point is NOT for them to make you sure of what to call them. It`s to make you UNSURE of what to call them…..Then YOU are uncertain and hesitant and controlled by their whims etc.

    • Katherine McChesney

      Call Chaz Bono what she really is….a sodomite.

  • Aussie_Thinker

    Such a shame, Cumberbatch is an incredible actor.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

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

    PC dictates that blacks be referred to as either ‘teens’ or ‘youth(s)’

    Everyone knows that.


    Benedict said the following as Sherlock Holmes:

    Sherlock: *notices a 2nd victim* There’s another one in here.

    Watson: Does he need help?

    Sherlock: *notices a ’14’ tattooed behind his ear and a 5 Dots Tattoo on his Hand* Ex-con. White Supremacist by the tattoos. So who cares.

    h/t Augur Mayson

    Better to stick with the original Sherlock Holmes, not the PC version acted out by cumberbatch.

  • “Colored,” the approved term circa 1965.

    BTW, Benedict Cumberbatch is the best Sherlock Holmes to come around in quite awhile.

    • Katherine McChesney

      But, he can’t compare to Jeremy Brett who was the quintessential Sherlock Holmes.

      • LexiconD1

        Basil Rathbone blows all of them out of the water.

  • authorizedversion .

    Every time you turn around, white people hurtin’ black folks’ feelings.

  • RacialRay

    Benedict Cumberbatch without stage makeup is so deathly pale that he is, for all intents and purposes, colorless. No wonder he does not ‘get it’.

    Crayola envy.

  • Maximo Partagas

    It wasn’t that long ago that calling a negro “colored” was the polite way to address the species.

  • cherrie greenbaum123

    Will he be invited back on Smiley’s show to kiss his arse?

  • dave

    IMO, he should’ve been on his knees begging for forgiveness for insulting the priviledged race.

  • Samuel Hathaway

    The whole thing is ridiculously moronic. Devastated? I’d have said for you all to get over yourselves.

  • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

    A colored stole my hat the other day.

  • badbox27


    • Katherine McChesney

      You know I have to admit that I on some occasions watch some reality programs and after seeing black women’s behavior in their relationships I have come to the conclusion that black men leave black women because they are verbally abusive to them. They demean them. They play the ‘black queen’ role to the hilt. They call them filthy names. Why would any man stay with a woman who puts them down and makes unreasonable demands of them?

      • SentryattheGate

        Amren had some articles a little while back about dating sites revealing that the least desired/sought of all groups were black women!

        • Katherine McChesney

          Certainly makes sense to me. The disrespect they show toward their men is disgusting.

    • David Ashton

      This darskin guy talked a lotta sense bout darskin fat women and the peanut gallery, gnome sane? He wouldna teach a school full a “darskin negresses”. But some have to. Pity white men can’t speak so frankly.

      How about a National Association for the Silencing of Darkie Women?

    • Bill Moore


      And this is what passes for “education” these days.

      We are so fucked.

      And I pay “school taxes” in several jurisdictions.

      It looks like the screamer in this video is almost ready to butcher for some pork.

      Bill Moore

  • Spikeygrrl

    “Colored people” is insensitive, but “people of color” is the latest PC-preferred term?

    I just don’t get it.

    So, where’s MY gibsmedat goodies? After all, I’m a “person of color” too…the pale peachy-pink color commonly known as WHITE.

  • Samuel Hathaway

    You know, these three examples you gave are good reasons to have concealed carry permits. The one smashing the windows of the next door neighbor, I’d have my pistol ready if needed. Violence is all these savages understand and they deserve a bit of it themselves. Then all this mess will stop.

  • Nevsky

    “Basketball Americans” would sound more PC?

  • ViktorNN

    Now that’s some quality kowtowing right there.

    White people watch and learn – this is your de-balled, prideless, fearful, simpering, pansified future.

  • LHathaway

    I’m Almost old enough to remember when ‘colored’ went out. Which went out first, actually, ‘negro’ or ‘colored’?

    I’ve begun using the term myself, lately. Not to be offensive, and turn people off (as I assume most who use the word ‘negro’ here do), but because it is the easiest way to describe those who are not white. I’m getting lazy in my writing. And anyway, shouldn’t blacks be glad to be included wth asians and indians . . . and isn’t that all that matters, that black men are not angry?

    • Tim

      I believe “colored” went out first. I remember Time and NBC News using Negro up until about 1971 or so. An older neighbor was still using Colored, so it was the generation before mine…

    • Daniel McGrath

      Cumberbatch probably was thinking of Indian and Asian actors who he went to school with who made it in the US. What’s he gonna say? Non white? Also Smiley called black actors from the UK English! The gall!

  • bubo

    Seriously, what is the worst that could happen to the guy if he just never said another word on it, ignored every question about it and refused to apologize?


    He is a major star. Just once I wish one of these guys that get hemmed up with this PC BS would grow some balls.

  • WoodyBBad

    MLK used it quite a bit. Soon we won’t be able to use the word “thug” because it means black; Pejoration, or euphemism treadmill.

    • Daniel McGrath

      At some point if you called blacks Messiah that would be a pollution of the word.

    • Daniel McGrath

      A turd by any other name is still a turd.

  • TheHBD

    This reminds me of an account I read of a North Korean citizen who was thrown in jail (along with most of his family) for referring to Kim Jong Il as “Great Leader” (his late father’s title) instead of “Dear Leader”

    The irony here is that this groveling fool was trying to hit home one of the Left’s cherished sacred cow’s that somehow Hollywood is ‘racist’ because they don’t include enough black actors in movies. Way to get caught in your own snare…

  • Tim

    So calling a computer a calculator is offensive…

  • mobilebay

    Stay alert, people! Try to keep up with the designation of the week, will you?

  • Sid Ishus

    It matters not the term used, anything associated with them will develop negative connotations, eg. Youth.

  • pwnful truth

    Nothing cuts a more pathetic figure than a wimpy white man prostrating himself before minorities. He already looked weak and had a weak enough name

    • Daniel McGrath

      Sherlock’s powers of deduction failed to notice that colored people commit almost all the violent crime in London.

  • Daniel McGrath

    It’s funny to think about Sherlock. He spends time solving crimes in London. I’d guess his powers of deduction might have noticed the people of color commuting all the violent crime at some point. Alas no, it’s a fruity Irish Genius called Moriarty doing it all! What o!

  • Daniel McGrath

    He will be blackballed like Gibson now. Plying his trade at Hungarian film festivals…

  • Daniel McGrath

    Cumberbatch may know Indian, Pakistani, Chinese English actors who have gone to the US and succeeded. What’s this about blacks exclusively?

  • Daniel McGrath

    I’m sure his military ancestors had some colourful words.

    Fuzzie Wuzzies? Kaffers? Bantu? Spearchuckers?

  • shmo123

    If I were trapped in the same room with that moron Smiley, I’d probably say far worse. I think Cumberbatch is a twit, but he shouldn’t have turned into mush and start apologizing.

  • voiceofstl

    I have to agree with Travis. One seems half the actors on the “walking dead” are Brits and Aussies.
    I can give many more examples. “The Wire”

  • LACountyRedneck

    NAA”C”P. Hypocrites.

  • The Threat is Real (UK)

    Ooooh! oohh! oh please…someone get me my handkerchief!


    “Thoughtless use of inappropriate language ”
    They’ll always be coloreds as far as I’m concerned

    • Bill Moore


      I use the term “Africans” instead of “African-Americans” or “Niqqers” or “Blacks”, or “Youffs”.

      I have to deal with multicultural groups.

      Bill Moore

  • Maaku

    How about “Burhead”

  • Greg Thomas

    The “damage is done?” Jesus Christ! Another case of a pathetic White, groveling for forgiveness at the knees of diversity. Sickening.

  • Ellis Kurtz

    With liberals calling the shots, I’m sure there is room for further deterioration.

  • NoMosqueHere

    “Of Color” is grammatically awkward if not incorrect. Colored is the better and proper term; and it’s softer and more inclusive than “black.” I like colored, darn it!

  • Bill Moore

    Hello Some Guy,

    I watched the first video.

    It’s living proof that today’s Africans are a cross between Caucasians and Chimpanzees.

    Thank you for posting the link,
    Bill Moore

  • throttler

    Benedict Cumberbatch is a Benedict Arnold to whites.

  • Seminumerical

    There are more than five million “Coloured” people in Southern Africa. Perhaps the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People should come here and put an end to that.

    The lefty nutters say we mustn’t call the Kalahai Bushman a Bushman and since the Bushman calls himself a Bushman he has to be bullied into to calling himself San by a white person.

    The Coloured call themselves Coloured. It would be great fun to see a Coloured man like former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous come to the home continent of the Black man and try to explain to the Cape Coloured that they are not really Coloured but Black like him, as you can tell from his photo below.