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Orlando Bloom explains 'pikey' remark after slur sparks backlash

Orlando Bloom caused a stir when he used the word "pikey" in an interview on Britain's Radio 1 on Wednesday (26Apr17).

Orlando Bloom has insisted he wasn't trying to cause offence by referring to himself as a "pikey" in a recent interview.

The Lord of the Rings star was chatting to host Nick Grimshaw on BBC Radio 1's Breakfast Show in the U.K. on Wednesday (26Apr17) about doing his own stunts when he used the word, widely used in a derogatory manner in Britain to refer to gypsies or travellers.

"I’m still a pikey from Kent, boy, I’m still a pikey from Kent. You don’t want to get on the wrong side of me, boy," Orlando said.

Listeners were quick to take to social media to slam Orlando for his use of the word, with one writing: "No, Orlando Bloom on @R1Breakfast @BBCR1, you're not a 'pikey from kent'. It's a racist slur! #radio1 #traveller #gypsy #racism." Another wrote: "I love that Orlando Bloom keeps saying pikey on Radio 1 when there was a whole feature on there about how offensive that is the other day.”

The National Gypsy Traveller Roma Council also said the actor's use of the "racially abusive term is worrying".

Following the backlash his remark received, Pirates of the Caribbean star Orlando insisted he hadn't meant it in a negative way, explaining to fans after the interview: "I've come from Kent and I grew up with a lot of, like, freewheeling, cool, interesting characters like that. I certainly wasn't taking a slant at that at all. I'm very respectful."

Host Nick also apologised for Orlando's language, telling listeners: "So good to have Orlando Bloom on the show... he's a bit of a loose cannon.

"Apologies if you were offended by anything that Orlando may have said."

Radio 1 later adding in a statement: "As with any live broadcast, we take great care to ensure all guests are briefed about their language before going on air. We apologised to listeners afterwards for any offence caused."

Orlando grew up in the town of Canterbury in Kent, England, where he attended public school.

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