BRITISH actor Laurence Fox has apologised for the comments he made on a Sikh character in a World War I film.
Fox had previously referred to “the oddness in the casting” of a Sikh soldier in Sir Sam Mendes’ movie 1917.
Fox tweeted: “Fellow humans who are Sikhs, I am as moved by the sacrifices your relatives made as I am by the loss of all those who die in war, whatever creed or colour”.
“Please accept my apology for being clumsy in the way I expressed myself.”
There was widespread criticism and objections to his comments on the Sikh role in the film.
Academics mentioned the contribution of Sikhs in the British Army during the first World War.
According to the WW1 Sikh Memorial Fund, about 130,000 Sikh men took part in the war.
The number makes up 20 per cent of the British Indian Army,
Sharing his views on the James Delingpole podcast on the weekend, the actor said: “It’s very heightened awareness of the colour of someone’s skin because of the oddness in the casting.
“Even in 1917, they’ve done it with a Sikh soldier, which is great, it’s brilliant, but you’re suddenly aware there were Sikhs fighting in this war. And you’re like ‘Ok, you’re now diverting me away from what the story is’.”
The former Lewis star also responded to Delingpole’s comments about filmmakers “shoehorning” people of different ethnicities into dramas.
Fox said: “It is kind of racist – if you talk about institutional racism, which is what everyone loves to go on about, which I’m not a believer in, there is something institutionally racist about forcing diversity on people in that way. You don’t want to think about [that].’
Former Coronation Street actress Shobna Gulati reacted to the actors comments with an image of Sikh soldiers and questioned the inclusion of just one in the film.