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Idris Elba’s Amazing Response To ‘Too Street For Bond’ Comments

You’d forgive Idris Elba for being a wee bit tired of the constant James Bond talk, but it seems he’s still able to see the funny side.

Days ago, current Bond writer for the Ian Fleming estate, Anthony Horowitz, said that he was sorry for comments he made, where he described Elba as being ‘too street’ for the role. A few took there to be some racial undertones to the remark, but he issued a pretty contrite statement saying that there was no offence intended.

In an Instagram post, Elba addressed Horowitz’s clearly uncomfortable situation, saying: “Always Keep Smiling!! It takes no energy and never hurts! Learned that from the Street!!”idris

Horowitz, who was speaking in the Daily Mail around the release of his new Bond book ‘Trigger Mortis’, said: “Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better. For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a colour issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”

He later tweeted a statement, backpedalling over the comment, and saying that he was ‘mortified’ over the response. “I’m really sorry my comments about Idris Elba have caused offence. That wasn’t my intention,” he said.

“I was asked in my interview if Idris Elba would make a good James Bond. In the article, I expressed the opinion that to my mind Adrian Lester would be a better choice, but I’m a writer not a casting director, so what do I know?

“Clumsily, I chose the word ‘street’, as Elba’s gritty portrayal of DCI John Luther was in my mind, but I admit it was a poor choice of word. I am mortified to have caused offence.”

Among those taking issue with the remark was American writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, who tweeted: “Just be honest and say ‘James Bond’s being white is important to me’ and be done with it … Elba is ‘too street’ in much the same way that Obama was ‘too foreign,’ and King was ‘too communist.’”

Hopefully, we now put this all to bed. Unless Elba gets the job as the new James Bond, of course…

About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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  1. Biko how was the man racist? Did he not say it was not a black thing? Did he not mention another black actor? He should not be bullied out of his view as long as it was not wrong in the first place. I’m one of those that also think Idris is not right for the job. Am I racist? NO! I like my bond with a certain charm and Idris does not have that. He is too rough around the edges. Sue me!

  2. As if he would ever use the word “street” on a white guy. That statement was racist. No two ways around it.

    • And how do you know he won’t?

      • Because no one thought Daniel Craig was street. And he is as street as any white guy can get.

        • Actually, after the release of casino Royale, criticisms trailed that movie on why Bond has suddenly become gritty, street, too rough and basically a British Jason Bourne. I too saw that comparison and I did not like it. It might have been a breath of fresh air to the character but it took time getting used to. Besides, the studios did not care, the new version was a money maker.

  3. I really hate this trend where people are viciously hounded by the public for expressing their opinions, no matter how inoffensive those opinions are, until they crumble under the weight.

    You ask a man what his opinions are on one particular person playing a role, he gives you an honest answer, and to dissipate any suspicions of racism, he names another of same race he’ll rather cast. But no! You don’t like his opinions anymore, even though you asked for it, so you break out the torches and pitchfork.

    For the record, I too think Idris will be wrong for Bond. I actually hate the reimagining of traditionally white characters as black. Like a black Superman. It’s so unoriginal.

    At least Daniel Craig’s roughness brought some fresh air to the Bond franchise. Have you watched him fight? He fights as if it’s the most natural thing ever.

    • So you hate it because you want your white characters to remain white? Erm, nna I no follow you talk that one ooo. Anyway, I do see from the originality angle you’re coming from.

  4. But true true, James Bond being white is important. I don’t see myself ever getting used to a black Bond.

  5. I don’t have any problem with non-whites being cast in traditionally white roles. Same way I don’t mind non-blacks being cast in traditionally black roles. I know I’d want to see an Asian Blade, for example.

    And there’s nothing racist about what Mr H-what’s-his-name said.

    I’m actually surprised most of y’all think Big Dris won’t make a good Bond. ‘Cause I personally think he’d make a terrific one.

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