Please, do sod off

Benedict Cumberbatch has apologised after he used the term ‘coloured’ to describe black actors, admitting he had been “an idiot”.

The Sherlock actor had come under fire from anti-austerity campaigners after he used the controversial term when discussing the problems facing ambitious young actors in Britain.

He told the PBS talk show Tavis Smiley in the US: “I think as far as coloured actors go, it gets really different in the UK, and a lot of my friends have had more opportunities here [in the US] than in the UK, and that’s something that needs to change.

“Something’s gone wrong, we’re not representative enough in our culture of different races and that really does need to step up a pace.”

His overall message was applauded by the anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card. However the campaign condemned the actor’s use of the word “coloured” to refer to people from ethnic minorities.

The terminally aggrieved will always find something to complain about.

In my lifetime alone we’ve gone from Negro to coloured and or black to African American and what’s the latest one, people of colour? The particular phrase du jour used to describe melanin enhancement matters very little. Other than as a marker of whether you’re hip to the terminally aggrieved or not.

77 thoughts on “Please, do sod off”

  1. Someone will be along shortly with his magic racism detector to point out that Cumberbatch should be driven from the village and burned.

    Can I object to being called white yet? I’m not white, I’m sort of beige.

    Say it loud, I’m beige and I’m proud!

  2. No word yet from our own Great Sage on whether ‘bush scrubbers’ is acceptable.

    In the meantime, from this apalling fake charity’s own website:

    ‘Describing people as coloured, is old fashioned and … it is much better to use the term black.’

    Right, so using ‘coloured’ is merely ‘old fashioned’, and it’s just ‘better’ to call people ‘black’. (Until they change that policy.)

    Still, burn him. he.is a .racist.

    (I strongly recommend their FAQs http://www.srtrc.org/faqs#faq4467)

  3. So Much for Subtlety

    The aim is just to bully normal people into silence – which can be mistaken for agreement. So that the next generation grows up thinking that this is normal.

    Shame on him for apologising. What he should have said is that he did not mean harm, it was patently obvious he did not mean harm, and not a single person was hurt one little bit by his use of a term that is actually making a come back as a politically correct usage. After all, you can find serious discussions about whether Kim Kardashian is a Woman of Colour or not and hence is entitled to flaunt her backside in a way that Iggy Azeala is not – despite her best effort to gain some street cred by sleeping with Black men.

  4. I believe the term ‘black’ left the building long ago. As a teenager, and for obvious reasons, all my friends who were ‘people of colour’ were named Chalkie. I can’t quite get my head around POC. However if it keeps the peace…

  5. “After all, you can find serious discussions about whether Kim Kardashian is a Woman of Colour or not and hence is entitled to flaunt her backside in a way that Iggy Azeala is not”

    These are Important Issues, occupying the highest thoughts of the greatest thinkers of our age.

  6. So Much for Subtlety

    Case in point, from the nearest further fringes of feminist insanity:

    http://feministing.com/2013/02/27/kim-kardashian-a-one-sided-analysis-of-the-not-black-girl-we-love-and-hate/

    I thought today would be as good a day as any to finally articulate some of my thoughts about Kim Kardashian. I’m no fan of Kardashian, but I like talking about her because there is so much sociopolitical content to be unpacked from her media personage. Bear with me.

    I call this analysis one-sided because I am aware of my position as a young, black woman in processing Kardashian as a media product and image. This racial component is important because one of my central observations about Kim K is that she is marketed to black woman. Her look is that of the exotic “other,” which we love because we fall for all of the women of color who don’t have too much color. She’s beautiful.

    So why is it acceptable for a Black feminist to call someone a “woman of color” but it is not acceptable for the Whitest of fey thespians to refer to a collective of actors of colour?

    The mind boggles.

  7. The word “black” is associated with things bad / unacceptable and should thus never be used in reference to Negros. Anyone doing so is a racist, xenophobic, fascist, Nazi, racist, Nazi, fascist, fascist, Nazi, Nazi.

  8. It’s still OK to say “Chinkies” though.

    BTW why is “coloured” offensive and “women of colour” kosher?

    Is “black” offensive now?

    Is “half-caste” OK?

    Maybe Bumbersnatch should have said:

    “I don’t see race, so I have no idea what you fannies are crying about. We all bleed red blood!”

    Something’s gone wrong, we’re not representative enough in our culture of different races

    Eh? Crimewatch is pretty diverse.

  9. Isn’t Benny a bit of a Proggie? In which case, an incident of “friendly fire”. Always the best ones as far as incidents like this goes. They can’t help themselves. They are like sharks – if they detect a milligramme of blood 1km away they rush in a frenzy and tear their victim to pieces, without thinking.

  10. @Steve

    ‘It’s still OK to say “Chinkies” though.’

    Tut tut.

    Read their website, it’s all there in absence of all colour and white:

    Q: Why is using the words ‘Paki’ or ‘Chinky’ wrong?

    A: Yes, definitely! Paki and Chinky are racist words no matter how, when or why they are used. Even if these words are used to describe a local shop or take away, the words still have racist meaning.

    They don’t seem to do much proof-reading, but the essential message is clear enough.

  11. Fun though it is watching the “right on” tearing their own to bits, it’s a shame that the English language becomes a collateral casualty.

    “People of colour” fergodsake! Clumsy and archaic at best.

  12. Rob – if he was Jezza, they’d be out to crucify him.

    I think he had part of a good point: there are more opportunities in America for coloured British actors (and we have some good ones). There are also more opportunities in America for paleface white devil actors. There are better opportunities in America, period. As they say.

    For example, half the cast of The Walking Dead is Brits pretending to be southern USA folks. Even though they’ve obviously never set foot in a Bojangles or a Piggly Wiggly in their puffs.

    It could be that British TV is racist. Or it might be that UK telly is mostly bollocks, full of crappy soap operas, mind-numbingly tedious regional detective shows, umpteen variants of Casualty, laughter-free BBC shitcoms, and reality programmes.

  13. @Interested
    ‘bush scrubbers’ is a new one on me, is it a translation from something like Afrikanns perhaps? A Boer might say ‘Speis Gooier’ (spear chucker). Anyway, if it ISN’T acceptable (to who? Is it to be made compulsory that I give a fuck?) then neither is ‘Whitey, Goyim, Shicksa, Bukra, Chuck, Honky’ or many others.
    @Steve
    “Crimewatch is pretty diverse”
    No it isn’t, it’s full of coloured chappies and foreign oafs! Where are our White criminals? Racism, Racism ! We demand pale thugs!

  14. Maybe the best way to describe the races is as persons of low, medium or high skin pigmentation. Unwieldy and ridiculous, but surely that could not be considered offensive by anyone?

    I found out the other day when a colleague said we were on opposite sides of a demarcation wall that Chinese Wall is now considered unacceptable.

  15. @RtheB

    Yes, Bush Scrubbers was also a new one on me. Yesterday our resident Hero of the Oppressed Minorities suggested it was being used to do down black Africans, but I regret to say his was the first (and so far, as far as I know, only) usage of the term. Freudian, I think they call it.

  16. JuliaM – see, this is why you’re great. You find the best links.

    Race is such an ingrained social construct that even blind people can ‘see’ it. To pretend it doesn’t exist to you erases the experiences of black people

    So race is a “social construct”, i.e. not real. But if you act like race doesn’t exist you’re a racialist. And probably spend your summers in Berchtesgaden.

    If you were truly unable to see people’s skin color, could you still be racist?

    Truly, one of the great questions of our time.

    Dr Osagie Obasogie, a professor at the University of California’s Hasting College of Law and the author of Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind, wondered the same thing after seeing the biopic “Ray,” about legendary blind musician Ray Charles. While watching the film, he found that Ray Charles seemed acutely aware of race, despite not having sight. He left the theater thinking about blindness and racism, and then spent the next eight years exploring it in his research.

    Black guy sees a film. Wastes eight years (!) “researching” it. I suppose it would be racist to point out he’s a useless twat.

    Interested – I love that website.

    Am I allowed to sing ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’?

    Oh shit! Am I? Am I allowed?

    Yes, of course! It is absolutely fine to sing Baa Baa Black sheep; it is a harmless nursery rhyme.

    Phew!

    Are ‘Pikey’ and ‘Gyppo’ racist words?

    Nah. I’ve seen Snatch, it’s fine.

    Yes! Gyppo and Pikey are extremely racist and offensive towards anybody from any of the Traveller groups as both of them have a history of being used to hurt and offend people.

    Damn! Well, what the hell am I supposed to call manky people in caravans? “Chav scum” is too generic.

  17. “For example, half the cast of The Walking Dead is Brits pretending to be southern USA folks”

    Yes, exactly and in many another US show. Is this right? Having one ethnic grouping putting on fake accents and stereotypical mannerisms to take the jobs from another ethnic grouping.

    Is it because some nasty people think ‘all whites look alike’?

  18. Well, what the hell am I supposed to call manky people in caravans? “Chav scum” is too generic.

    How about “Chav scum of the Irish Traveller Community”?

  19. I’m always astounded at how quick the Americans are to paint things as purely black vs white. What about Latino and Asian actors? The only visible desi actor is Raj from Big Bang Theory who is stereotyped beyond belief.

  20. Ian Bennett – How about “Chav scum of the Irish Traveller Community”?

    That’s too much of a mouthful.

    How about “Kyles”, as in Jeremy Kyle guests?

  21. Steve: “Well, what the hell am I supposed to call manky people in caravans? “

    I prefer Caravan Utilising Nomadic Travellers. If this is too long, the acroynm will suffice.

  22. Apparently, the reason so many British and Australian actors are doing so well in Hollywood is to do with the attitudes of American high school kids. In the US, tough manly men go into sports and only wusses go into acting. As a result, they have a shortage of tough-looking actors. Plenty of pretty stars suitable for rom-coms, but no Gerard Butlers.

  23. > The only visible desi actor is Raj from Big Bang Theory who is stereotyped beyond belief.

    Raj is a sign of how confident Indians are now in their culture that they’re happy to take the piss out of themselves. Good for them. I wish everyone else would too.

  24. half the cast of The Walking Dead is Brits pretending to be southern USA folks”

    Or, in more precise figures, “one”.

  25. It used to be so simple, you couldn’t say nigger or wog (except in Aus where wog means something entirely different) but now the euphemisms for these words are offensive.

  26. “Henry Crun – I have grey hair, rosy cheeks and blue eyes. Does that classify me as “coloured”?”

    From that colour scheme, I think you sound as if you look like a Mandrill’s rear end

  27. Kim Kardashian black?

    From wiki:

    [Her] mother is of Dutch, English, and Scottish ancestry, while their father was a third-generation Armenian American.

    Black in the sense of the derogatory term used by Muscovites, then.

  28. Ralph M: “The word “black” is associated with things bad.”

    Apart from being “in the black” which means being profitable.

    Or potting the highest value ball in snooker.

  29. As has been pointed out over at David Thompson’s place, the proggies love to keep updating their list of acceptable terms because it keeps anyone who is not quite up to speed off balance and able to be shouted down as a racist.

  30. Or it might be that UK telly is mostly bollocks, full of crappy soap operas, mind-numbingly tedious regional detective shows, umpteen variants of Casualty, laughter-free BBC shitcoms, and reality programmes.

    And costume dramas. Don’t forget the costume dramas.

  31. I like Benedict Cumberbatch as an actor but whenever he opens his gob in interviews the content is so gloriously right-on (Assange endorsing, isn’t-it-terrible-Turing-was-treated-badly, I-feel-so-guilty-as-a-whitey-over-slavery) that I zone out.

    Perhaps he’ll now get a spine but I suspect he’ll become even more grovelling in his post-imperial guilt rather than realise he’s been mugged by reality.

    Still quite entertaining that the Best Actor Oscar looks to be a straight Eton vs Harrow fight, what? Pip! Pip!

  32. The current accronym de jour “BAME”, black and minority ethic is ignoring the contribution to the issue the Latino community can make. Let’s ignore them no longer and embrace the concept of the BLAME community.

  33. Tim Newman – And costume dramas. Don’t forget the costume dramas

    I was trying to. 🙁

    Squander Two – Gerard Butler, tough?

    He was in an advert for moisturiser, for feck’s sake.

    Has the bar for manliness fallen so low since the days of “Big Dave” in 2000AD?

  34. I suppose this emphasises the fact that actors are people paid to speak others’ words. The fact they generally talk balls when they utter their own (Cumberbatch, Mel Gibson, Liam Neeson, Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon etc etc) should lead them to shut up about anything other than their chosen field.

    They never learn.

  35. David Morrissey isn’t in it any more, Lauren Cohan was born in Philadelphia, Lennie James was only in the first episode and a brief cameo in the latest season.

  36. And FWIW, I find Bendydick Bandersnatch one of the most annoying actors working today. The thought that Mr Weirdy Eyes is going to play Dr Strange (in the comics, a Clark Gable (or second-fiddle Tony Stark)) type fills me with horror. Who are they going to cast as Clea? Su Pollard?

    I bet he does that stupid Trying To Be Awesome Voice where he talks like he’s got fudge stuck to his teeth.

  37. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Steve
    January 27, 2015 at 12:00 pm
    Ian Bennett – How about “Chav scum of the Irish Traveller Community”?
    That’s too much of a mouthful.
    How about “Kyles”, as in Jeremy Kyle guests?

    The Army solved this problem in the Falklands back in ’82….
    Stills.

  38. Black and Mulatto would surely do?

    In the US, “Oriental, Black and Mulatto Americans”would cover most of the grievance categories except for the Latin Americans. The acronym there is handy.

  39. I didn’t say Gerard Butler was tough; I said he can convincingly portray a tough character. He’s an actor: I thought that was implicit.

    The greatest portrayal of actors remains Joey Tribiani in Friends. I find it best to assume that all actors are basically just like him.

  40. To be fair to Cumberbatch, he was very good in Into Darkness. He was, in fact, just about the only good thing in that film. Not his fault he was cast as an Indian.

    Which, come to think of it, was a great example of left-wing double standards. Khan is supposed to be an Indian who has used genetic technology to transform himself into a superman. So they cast a white Englishman. An Indian man improves himself genetically, and thereby turns Aryan. Where was the outrage? Why aren’t they burning JJ Abrams in effigy? Or for real?

  41. Ian B – pendant.

    Bloke in North Dorset – Damn. Didn’t realise I was reinventing the Benny.

    Squander Two – Star Trek Into Darkness was awful in so many ways:

    * The plot was stupid
    * New Klingons look like Lou Gosset Jr. from Enemy Mine
    * Starfleet Dress Uniforms look like Nazi bellhops

    And all Benny C did was brood with that eerie gaunt face of his and do his Evil voice.

    RoboCop himself was in that film, and it was still shit. How is that even possible?

    But Khan isn’t Indian. He’s some sort of Mexican. I saw him on an episode of Columbo once.

  42. Well, that was the vague and fairly harmless racism of the Sixties: the character’s Indian, get a Mexican actor to play him, near enough. At least they realised that Steve McQueen wouldn’t look quite right.

    > The plot was stupid

    It was a lot worse than stupid.

  43. Watching him urinate all over the memory of Montalban’s Khan was like having my eyeballs very slowly eaten by hungry ants. Especially that ridiculous fudge-stuck-to-teeth enunciation. The movie in toto made Spock’s Brain look like Hamlet. I have never been so disappointed by Trek. None of the worst of the old stuff compared to the worstness of Into Darkness, and Cumberbatch bears a lot of the blame for that, though obviously the writers and director bear most of the blame.

    Worst. Trek. Ever.

  44. By the way, Bob Orci said (on Trekmovie.com) that they decided not to cast an Indian because that would be racist, having an Indian as the bad guy. Srsly.

  45. Squander Two – Well, that was the vague and fairly harmless racism of the Sixties

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a7/Starring_Mickey_Rooney.jpg

    It was a lot worse than stupid.

    * Simon Pegg couldn’t do a Scottish accent if you forced him to do nothing but eat haggis and listen to The Proclaimers for a year. He can’t even do other English accents. He can only do Simon Pegg.

    * Spock’s emotions are illogical and annoying

    * New Bones is just an Aussie doing a bad impression of Deforest Kelley

    * New Kirk is more Zap Brannigan than Shatner ever was.

    Bit there were good points:

    * Zoe Saldana and Alice Eve are wonderful actresses. Something for the dads there.

  46. Ian B – It made Star Trek The Movie look like Citizen Kane.

    Even the one where Kirk met God, and God was a bit of a dick, was less insulting to the audience.

  47. New Spock plays the part like an irritated Noel Coward butler with occasionaly psychotic tendencies. Drives me barmy.

  48. Whatever the merits of Gumberbatch as an actor-and even if he is a mega-PC git–there is prob a more significant reason for his grovelling. He is a media star (as Eastwood said: “Deserves got nothing to do with it”) on the way up and the last thing he wants is damage from a twitter-storm of leftist cunts–and much worse– bad press from the MSM. Ironically as Dr Watson told Sherlock in series 2 –“first the media build you up then they turn on you”. It is this kind of power that leftist scum are able to wield and the tabloids and their multimedia extensions are the source of this power. I suppose ultimately the cowardice of dickhead media executives is the key to ruining promising careers and Cumberbatch would be a fool to risk his success now he has got this far-whatever his personal feelings. How many chances like those he now has does anyone get in a lifetime?
    If any of you have a Hollywood contract pending …well …

    IanB: Dr Strange was one of my favourite characters back in the 1960s–I hope Marvel get it right. Do something sensible–like tell his origin story while the opening credits role instead of wasting the entire movie on it.

  49. It’ll be half the movie with Cumberbatch staggering around Outer Mongolia finding himself, then a half hearted fight with a villain nobody’s ever heard of. Sort of, Batman Begins without Batman.

    My guess is the baddie will be Dormammu, though I’m kind of hoping against hope for Nebulon.

  50. > Simon Pegg couldn’t do a Scottish accent if you forced him to do nothing but eat haggis and listen to The Proclaimers for a year.

    I’m not sure about that: is he trying to do a Scottish accent well and fucking it up or is he paying homage to Doohan’s inability to do a Scottish accent?

  51. Considering the engine room of the new Enterprise is a brewery with concrete floors (for fuck’s sake) I don’t think they much care for verisimilitude. This version of Trek is mainly about lens flares and Spock punching the shit out of people.

  52. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Blimey, I just watched the film as a way of passing a couple of hours when I had nothing much going on. My exegetical powers were not trained on it. I guess that’s why I’m much more of a geek than a nerd. I liked Crimpysnitch in Sherlock, but he is a bit mannered. I actually find Martin Freeman a bit more annoying in that regard, as it happens.

  53. JuliaM,

    “Way to ignore the message while whinging about the medium, race activists!”

    Spot on.

    That said, I think it’s going to be hard to change, because of what we produce in this country. If you’re making things like The Wire or Firefly, you’re going to have lots of non-white actors. If you make things about women in bonnets drinking tea, or chaps called Sebastian at Oxford in the 1940s, you aren’t. And the latter is what we make a lot more of. We’ve got that niche. If someone wants to make a gritty, urban story, they’ll make it in New York, Boston or LA, not Manchester.

  54. Since they introduced time travel into Star Trek and it’s all science fiction anyway, can I sleep with Lt Uhura and cylon number 6 from Battlestar Galatica at the same time?

    That would prove once and for all that I wasn’t racist or cylonist.

  55. “If you’re making things like The Wire… you’re going to have lots of non-white actors”

    I’m not joking, there was one series of The Wire and I couldn’t understand what half the characters were saying. I’m thinking the two characters in the scene are friends then suddenly one of them shoots the other and I can’t even work out why.

    Would it have been too much to provide sub-titles?

  56. When are they going to tackle that vile racist organisation the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People?!

  57. The NAACP is pre-watershed, and anyway the nobody will remember what the original words were.

    30 years ago in the UK, Black was offensive, Coloured was okay. It was reversed for the next generation, no doubt leading to misplaced accusations in confused households up and down the land.

    Btw, I think Saxons are mingers.

  58. 2001 was super-slow but it still had something special and if you have the Arthur C Clarke novelisation he even explains it all in a way that makes sense.

  59. I know longer have any idea what is acceptable and what not. Last I remember black was a big no-no but coloured was ok. It seems to have switched now. This ‘person of colour’ is too much of a mouthful.

    Thankfully though, not only do I not know what’s acceptable but I couldn’t give a fuck either.

    One thing I like about the Chinese is that they’re all racist and they don’t care. And their ‘racism’ isn’t usually a nasty type it’s like “Oh you’re from England, you must be a real gentleman” or “Oh, you’re Jewish, you must be very good with money”. It’s actually kind of sweet.

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