Belfast Telegraph

Oyelowo supports Cumberbatch

Selma star David Oyelowo has voiced his support for fellow British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who came under criticism for using the term "coloured" in an interview.

David, who plays Martin Luther King Jr in Selma, said at the film's European premiere in London that people should focus on what the Sherlock star was saying - rather than the terminology he used.

Discussing diversity in the entertainment industry, Benedict said last week on a TV show that "as far as coloured actors go," there were more opportunities in the US than Britain. "And that's something that needs to change," he said.

The actor later said sorry for his "thoughtless use of inappropriate language". He said he was "devastated to have caused offence by using this outmoded terminology".

David defended Benedict when asked about the comment.

"In relation to Benedict it's definitely gone too far in terms of political correctness," said the actor.

"He was actually being very supportive of the likes of me, and other black actors and actresses - we do have greater opportunities in the US in relation to the UK.

"We use the term 'people of colour' in America. Is that immensely different to what he said? I don't think so, just focus on what he was trying to say."

Directed by Ava DuVernay, Selma follows the movement that led to the historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and the subsequent passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The movie was nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards. But the fact it was snubbed in other top categories has led to a debate on diversity in the entertainment industry.

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