David Oyelowo defends Benedict Cumberbatch

David Oyelowo has defended his friend, Benedict Cumberbatch, over racial remarks the 'Imiation Game' star made about diversity in the film industry.

David Oyelowo
David Oyelowo

David Oyelowo has defended Benedict Cumberbatch over his remarks about diversity in the film industry.

The 'Imitation Game' star used the term "coloured" when referring to black actors whilst discussing the lack of diversity in the UK's performing arts scene and the 'Selma' star has since contacted his friend to offer his support.

He said: "I reached out to him in support and said I think it's ridiculous...

"When you look at what he was actually saying it's clear that he's a huge supporter of black performers ... To attack him for a term, as opposed to what he was actually saying, I think is very disingenuous and is indicative of the age we live in where people are looking for sound bites as opposed to substance."

David, 38, also revealed that he agreed with Benedict's original comments, insisting that there is a lack of equality within the creative arts industry.

He added to BBC's Newsbeat: "You can see that in the fact every time a film of this size and stature comes up. We're talking about diversity again and that's because there isn't enough of it ...

"Excellence is the best weapon against prejudice. I intend to be part of the solution and not the problem. You've just got to keep on banging out good performances."

Meanwhile, the 38-year-old 'The Hobbit' star recently apologised for using the "offensive" term.

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.

"I can only hope this incident will highlight the need for correct usage of terminology that is accurate and inoffensive."

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