It's Black History month and not the best time for screen hunk Robert Pattinson to dip a toe in the hot button racial politics of the USA. But the handsome Twilight star sat down with Details magazine this month and made a racially charged comment with surprising ease.

His interviewer, Jenny Lumet, is a black journalist and here’s the dialogue she had with Pattinson:

Details: Rob, did you know that every time you say actor or acting you lower your voice to a whisper?
Rob: (He’s genuinely startled.) “I do?”
Details: Yes, so quietly it’s like you’re saying Negro.
Rob: (He laughs, lightens up.) “What if we were "acting" like "Negroes"? Then we’d be f*cked. We couldn’t hear anything. . .”

It's hard to know what prompted Lumet to lead Pattinson down the racial path by making the Negro comparison in the first place or why Details even felt the need to run this part of the interview (that had nothing to do with the rest of the interview) in print.

But some black commentators have already confessed to being bothered by it. When did it become cool, they ask, to make these off putting jokes nowadays?