5 Celebrities Who’ve Said Sorry for Racial Slurs

There are no excuses for racism and these 5 celebrities have all used offensive terms or slurs, later backtracking on the offensive remarks and saying sorry for any offence they may have caused. While it seems some simply just made slip-ups or were trying to be funny, racism can’t be tolerated in any form and they’ve agreed that they’ve made a mistake. Here is what they’ve said to try to in some way make up for their use of a racial slur.

Benedict Cumberbatch


Benedict used the word ‘coloured’ in an interview which caused offence. He immediately said sorry for offending: “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. I can only hope this incident will highlight the need for correct usage of terminology that is accurate and inoffensive. The most shaming aspect of this for me is that I was talking about racial inequality in the performing arts in the UK and the need for rapid improvements in our industry when I used the term. I feel the complete fool I am and while I am sorry to have offended people.”

John Mayer

John let the ‘n’ word slip and realised he never should have used it: “I am sorry that I used the [N-]word. I should have never said the word and I will never say it again.”

Justin Bieber

Justin was caught on video making a joke which contained a racist term. He apologised for what he said: “I’m very sorry. I take all my friendships with people of all cultures very seriously and I apologize for offending or hurting anyone with my childish and inexcusable behavior.”


Madonna used a racial slur in an Instagram post and later said sorry for her use of the word: “I am sorry if I offended anyone with my use of the N word on Instagram. It was not meant as a racial slur. I am not a racist. There’s no way to defend the use of the word. It was all about intention. It was used as a term of endearment toward my son who is white. I appreciate that it’s a provocative word and I apologize if it gave people the wrong impression.”

Steve Martin

After making a racist joke via Twitter, the comedian was forced to say sorry after he received much backlash. He said: “I did apologize. But again, a second later I realized what an offensive thing I’d done. Deep bow.”