Anybody who speaks in public often enough is going to say some stupid shit at some point then that soundbite is going to be a headline in articles and debated endlessly by people with way too much time on their hands. Having said that, you probably don’t want to drop the term ‘colored’ for black people on national television. And if you’re going to, don’t be a descendant of a well-known slave owning plantation family speaking on the Tavis Smiley show.
Benedict Cumberbatch found himself appalled at his own appalling slip of the tongue when he said how horrible the career field is for colored actors in the U.K.:
“I’m devastated to have caused offense 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.”
That’s your standard devastated progressive actor statement. First, express mortification. In fact, if you can get away with it, use the word mortified. People eat that shit up. Second, profuse apology. Like you just ran over an old lady’s cat, or her favorite grandchild. Third, way over blow the damage you’ve caused. Maybe somebody cut him off before he hit the Alec Baldwin fourth with a note about having many colored friends. Cumberbatch is an outspoken gay rights supporter so he’s pretty much got carte blanche to say whatever the hell he wants. The press would go neutral if he announced the world was better off when slaves knew their place. Like we’re not all thinking it.
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