I am going to start by saying that I am a huge Benedict Cumberbatch fan. I especially enjoy his performance as Sherlock Holmes. My fandom may “color” my opinion of things so I am admitting it up front.
Benedict Cumberbatch is a rising star in Television and Film; it was believed that he could do no wrong, until now.
Recently while discussing race and the entertainment business with Tavis Smiley, Mr. Cumberbatch explained that he believes Hollywood offers more opportunities for black actors than the UK does.
However, his actual words were:
“I think as far as colored actors go it gets really difficult 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.”
His use of the word “Colored” has made a few people uncomfortable.
I am inclined to give him a pass because over all he was speaking positively and I don’t think he meant offense. He has also come out and apologized repeatedly.
What I think happened was that he didn’t want to say “black.”
He was talking to an American audience and he didn’t want to say Black or Black People… He knows we tend to say African American in America. However, now he was talking about two actors who were black but not American… so he wanted to say something, but he was scared to say black.
He probably should have just said “black” or “actors of color”
Anyways I don’t think this Faux pas will hurt his reputation or career. Maneuvering around what’s appropriate and inappropriate is tricky.
Benedict often plays geniuses and super clever people but we have to remember that in the real world he is just as clueless as the rest of us.