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January 27, 2015

Benedict Cumberbatch said something offensive. In his defense, he just arrived in a steam-powered time-ship of his own design from the year 1887.

I say. While I was on some frightfully charming Tele-Vision programme in one of the former colonies, I’m afraid I made rather a hash of things.

You see, I referred to black people as “coloured people.” I understand that that is dreadfully offensive and I could not be more abjectly sorry.

However, I must say, I think you are a bit harsh on me, old beans. Things are quite different where I come from. Or should I say when I come from. I am after all a time-traveling adventureman, born in the year of our lord 1856.

Oh dear me, you didn’t know that? But I thought it was obvious. My foppishly long curls, my skin’s aristocratic pallor (maintained by prodigious dabs of arsenic), the fact that my name is not Tyler or Kevin but Benedict Cumberbatch — surely it is clear that I am a wealthy Victorian playboy-inventor, here to sample the pleasures of the future in a steam-powered time-ship of my own design?

I must say, I think this is on you.

In any case, now that you know the truth, surely we can agree that I deserve credit for all the faux pas I haven’t made here in your strange and decadent era. I have not slapped a single woman for sporting about in dungarees*; I have not seized any commoners’ dogs to play with on my estate, as is my right as a lord under the Magna Carta; I have not locked any mad relatives in my attic; and the orphans who work in my rag-twisting factory are very well-watered.

That is not to say that I am ashamed of my origins. Far from it. If I were ashamed, I would not have arrived to the Golden Globes in a steam-powered time-ship of my own design. Nor would I go everywhere in a full cape, accompanied by a Malay manservant who never smiles.

Oh dear, Malay is another little gaffe, isn’t it? Yes, Kevin would like me to tell you he is from Chicago and he smiles whenever.

So, denizens of this dazzling but depraved future, I am indeed very sorry. But again, my name is Benedict fucking Cumberbatch.

*Except for Keira Knightley. She is obviously also a time traveler.