Although Benedict Cumberbatch is a well-spoken, Harrow-educated gentleman, the 38-year-old actor recently made a very silly remark when referring to black actors as "coloured" in a recent interview.

Benedict Cumberbatch
Cumberbatch apologised for calling black actors "coloured" 

After receiving a rather ruthless backlash for the unfortunate comment, Cumberbatch has now offered an apology to anyone he offended, and even called himself an "idiot" over the incident.

The 'Sherlock' star made the inadvertently-rude remark during an interview with PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley, ironically in a discussion about the diversity problems black actors face in Hollywood and the U.K.

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"I think as far as colored actors go, it gets really difficult in the U.K., and a lot of my friends have had more opportunities (in the U.S.) than in the U.K. and that's something that needs to change," Cumberbatch said in the interview.

Although it is quite obvious the Oscar-nominee didn't mean to cause offense, many fans and anti-racial groups were very critical towards him for the poor choice of words.

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Britain's biggest anti-racism charity, Show Racism the Red Card, reaction was mixed, the organisation praised Cumberbatch's point of view in the argument, but suggested he use the correct terminology in the future.

"Benedict Cumberbatch has highlighted a very important issue within the entertainment industry and within society. In doing so, he has also inadvertently highlighted the issue of appropriate terminology and the evolution of language," the group told The Independent.

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They added that the charity feels the term "has the potential to cause offence due to the connotations associated with the term and its historical usage." 

Cumberbatch later issued an apology for the comment. "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 said.