In this image released by The Weinstein Company, Benedict Cumberbatch, center, appears in a scene from "The Imitation Game." (Jack English, AP/The Weinstein Company)
In this image released by The Weinstein Company, Benedict Cumberbatch, center, appears in a scene from "The Imitation Game." (Jack English, AP/The Weinstein Company)
In this image released by The Weinstein Company, Benedict Cumberbatch, center, appears in a scene from “The Imitation Game.” (Jack English, AP/The Weinstein Company)

LONDON (AP) — Benedict Cumberbatch says he was an “idiot” to refer to non-white actors as “colored.”

The Academy Award-nominated actor used the word on PBS talk show “Tavis Smiley” last week while discussing diversity in the entertainment industry. He said that “as far as colored actors go,” there were more opportunities in the U.S. than Britain, “and that’s something that needs to change.”

British anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card said it welcomed Cumberbatch’s comments on diversity but felt the term he used was “outdated.”

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

He said: “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.”

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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