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David Oyelowo attends the 2014 National Board of Review Gala on Jan. 6, 2015 in New York City.
Dimitrios Kambouris—2015 Getty Images

Days after Benedict Cumberbatch incited controversy by referring to black actors as “colored,” David Oyelowo has come to his defense.

“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,” the Selma star told BBC.

Cumberbatch’s inflammatory remark came in the context of him talking about diversity differences in the entertainment industries of the U.K. and the U.S.. Oyelowo also lamented the lack of diversity in Hollywood: “We’re talking about diversity again and that’s because there isn’t enough of it,” he said.

Cumberbatch said he feels like “a complete fool” for using the word.


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