Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Benedict Cumberbatch controversy is ridiculous, says Selma star David Oyelowo

By Natalie Jamieson
Newsbeat entertainment reporter

David Oyelowo

David Oyelowo has defended fellow British actor and friend, Benedict Cumberbatch, for using the term "coloured" during an interview.

Cumberbatch has apologised and said he was "devastated to have caused offence" after using the word on a US TV show to describe black actors.

"I think it's ridiculous," Selma star Oyelowo told Newsbeat.

"When you look at what he was actually saying it's clear that he's a huge supporter of black performers."

David Oyelowo was speaking at the UK premiere of Selma, in which he stars as 1960s civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cumberbatch mentioned David Oyelowo and Chiwetel Ejiofor as part of a wider discussion with US talk show host Tavis Smiley about diversity in the film industry.

"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 actor also said he had spoken to Cumberbatch about the controversy that flared up online over the past few days.

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

When asked if he felt Hollywood and the film industry had an issue with diversity, Oyelowo replied with a resounding "absolutely".

"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."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Benedict Cumberbatch apologises after calling black actors 'coloured'

 Lanre Bakare
January 27, 2015

Benedict Cumberbatch on the Tavis Smiley talkshow
Benedict Cumberbatch on the Tavis Smiley talkshow, when he referred to people of colour as ‘coloured’. Photograph: PBS

 Benedict Cumberbatch has apologised after referring to black actors as “coloured” during an interview on US television, saying he is “devastated” to have caused offence.

The Sherlock actor said he was “an idiot” after he used the phrase during a debate, ironically about the diversity problems that black British actors face in the UK compared to the US, which he argued has been more open to casting them.

Talking on the Tavis Smiley show on PBS, Cumberbatch said: “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 America] than in the UK, and that’s something that needs to change.”

Reaction was mixed after the actor – who has been nominated for an Oscar for his role in The Imitation Game – used the outdated term, with many praising the sentiment of his argument but lamenting his poor choice of words.

 Benedict Cumberbatch has apologised. Photograph: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

A spokesperson for the anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card, told the Independent: “Benedict Cumberbatch has highlighted a very important issue within the entertainment industry and within society. In doing so, he has also inadvertently highlighted the issue of appropriate terminology and the evolution of language.”

They added that the organisation feels the term “has the potential to cause offence due to the connotations associated with the term and its historical usage”.

In a statement Cumberbatch 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.”


Monday, January 26, 2015




This episode of "Downton Abbey" marks the halfway point of the season, and it really should just be called "There's Something About Mary" now, because she is winning everything in the show.  Including all the fake fashion awards in my head.


Photos: PBS

In this episode, Lady Mary totally schools us in red hat-wearing. The key? Keep it in the jewel-tone family. If this was the InStyle feature which teaches you how to style weird colors like mustard (which is one of my favorite columns in that mag), I'd call the plum coat and red hat a "wild card pairing."


I was really struck by how often Edith's wardrobe makes her blend into the background. First, she was totally camouflaged by the red velvet couch in the library, then she matched the fence while trying to spy on her daughter. Come on, writers, Lady Edith really needs her triumphant moment.


"Aunt Rosamund's taking me to a dress show." --Lady Mary

"It's good to know you've got your priorities straight." --Lord Grantham

Honestly, could a "Downton Abbey" fashion recapper ask for anything more glorious than AN ACTUAL FASHION SHOW on the show? No. I can now die happy. That androgynous number on the far left (Mary's reaction: "Golly!") looks like something Miuccia would create.


In case you'd forgotten (I did, and had to consult the Downtonpedia), Miss Lane Fox was formerly engaged to Tony Gillingham, who then broke off the engagement to pursue Mary. Ouch. Anyway, her style looks rather boho. She's the Drew Barrymore of Downton.


Screengrabs: PBS


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Colin Firth video on Jonathan Ross

Keeley Hawes: There is life in TV for mature women

By Patrick Sawer and Hannah Furness
8:00AM GMT 25 Jan 2015

Keeley Hawes

Keeley Hawes is a woman whose time has come. Or to put it less dramatically, the actress who starred in Ashes to Ashes, Line of Duty and Upstairs Downstairs has come of age.

This might seem a strange thing to say, given that she has been on our screens since her mid-teens, when she appeared in the likes of Dennis Potter’s Karaoke. But as Hawes herself points out, there has never been a better time to be an actress of certain years.

Hawes, who turns 39 next month, said: “I think that you only have to look at our TV screens at the moment to see maybe there is a change happening, with Olivia Colman in Broadchurch, Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Honourable Woman and Gillian Anderson in The Fall. These aren’t 20-year-olds. These are women with a bit of life experience.”

Her success in roles more suited to mature women than flighty teenagers or sultry twentysomethings – such as the hard-bitten and explosively violent policewoman Detective Inspector Lindsay Denton in BBC2’s Line of Duty – means she is less minded to complain about the parts offered to older actresses.

In an interview in next week’s Stella magazine, she says: “It would be an odd thing for me to bitch about, to be honest. And if that makes me not very feminist…”

But, she adds quickly: “I am a feminist, but I can’t bitch about something that I haven’t directly experienced. Of course, there are a lot of window-dressing roles and you make the best of what you can out of that. You are not going to turn work down when you have a family, when you have bills to pay, and you have to work. It would be all well and good to say, 'I’m not going to work unless it’s some big meaty part,’ but you would sit there for ever. You would be down the dole office.”

Her ability to accept “window-dressing roles” with grace, while excelling in more demanding parts, has made her one of the industry’s most appreciated figures, with fellow actors, directors and producers describing her as friendly, professional and modest.

It also means Hawes has been happy to play parts that do not call for a waif-like physique yet require some dressing down on the part of a naturally striking woman, such as the frumpy DI Denton.

“I’m not a size eight. I never have been,” she says. “In my youth I was somebody who didn’t leave home without a bit of mascara. That’s all out the window now; I am not that person. I’ve got three children and I really don’t care.”

Her ability to immerse herself in the decidedly unglamorous aspect of her roles can take those behind the camera by surprise.

She said: “I was asked to do a role once where I would have had to have worn really bad false teeth. The director literally couldn’t believe that I wouldn’t get there on the day and say, 'No, actually, forget it.’ But I couldn’t wait to not have any make-up. My vanity left me a long time ago.”