'Thor's Idris Elba Won't Be Bond & Here's Why
2013's up and coming Idris Elba will not be playing James Bond any time soon, much to our disappointment (and Kate Middleton's, I'm sure). On ITV's Lorraine, he dismissed the idea saying, "It's a rumor that's gotten out of control, basically –– but that's all it is. There's no truth in it whatsoever." But if he were to play James Bond, he wouldn't want you to call him the black Bond. He spoke of the term saying, "We don't say 'white Bond,' we just say 'Bond.' So it suddenly becomes a black man and he's a 'black Bond.' So I hate that phrase."
Elba has been asked all kinds of questions about race in film, something that is likely only going to increase as his movie Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom gains prominence. But Elba has expressed his frustration at constantly being asked such questions like about the "shortage of roles for black actors."
"Next question... I’m so bored of answering that. Are there differences between black actors’ opportunities and white actors’ opportunities? Yes, there are. It’s been said. I’d rather a young black actor read about success as opposed to how tough it was. I get these roles because I can act and that’s it. Hopefully that’s it. The less I talk about being black, the better."
That final sentence says it all, and it's a sentiment shared by his fellow actor Morgan Freeman who famously called Black History Month "ridiculous." "You're going to relegate my history to a month?" he said. "I don't want a Black History Month. Black history is American history." Freeman also noted that there's no "White History Month" and told his 60 Minutes interviewer, "I am going to stop calling you a white man and I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man."
And I agree; the use of 'black' as an precursor to things needs to stop. President Obama needs to stop being called our "black president," Kerry Washington needs to stop being labeled as a "black actress," and Elba needs to stop being nominated for a "black Bond."
While the internet will certainly be disappointed that Elba's Bond future looks bleak, I hope we can all look to the importance of his words on race and stop using 'black' as a prefix, because these people are so much more than the color of their skin.