Benedict Cumberbatch has apologized for referring to black actors as "colored" in a recent interview.

Last week, the Oscar-nominated actor appeared on PBS' Tavis Smiley, where he discussed the diversity in British entertainment compared to the American industry. "As far as colored actors go, it gets really difficult in the U.K.," he said ,referring to the success black Brits like Chiwetel Ejiofor and David Oyelowo have found with 12 Years a Slave and Selma, respectively.

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While the positive sentiment was clearly there, Cumberbatch was criticized for using the outdated term and later issued an apology, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "I'm devastated to have caused offense by using this outmoded terminology," he said. "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."

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The Imitation Game star continued: "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."

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