James Bond author says Idris Elba ‘too street’ to play 007, apologizes
UPDATE - 9/2/15 5:35PM EDT: Yesterday, Idris Elba quietly responded to the controversy in the classiest way possible on Instagram.
UPDATE - 9/1/15 1:50PM EDT: Anthony Horowitz took to Twitter to apologize for his poor word choice when describing Idris Elba. Apparently he meant Elba was “gritty” in his role as John Luther.
I'm really sorry my comments about Idris Elba have caused offence [full statement attached] pic.twitter.com/UD6ouA45Uv— Anthony Horowitz (@AnthonyHorowitz) September 1, 2015
In my opinion, this was the right thing to do. In life, especially if you exist in a profession where your words are amplified, it is difficult but crucial to genuinely apologize when you blunder into a social issue like a drunk Kool-Aid man.
UPDATE - 9/1/15 12:30PM EDT: I did not leave out Anthony Horowitz suggestion of Adrian Lester in place of Idris Elba for James Bond in an attempt to vilify him. He does that just fine on his own. Words like “street” or “urban” are heavily coded to mean “too black” or “doesn’t act middle class white enough.” Horowitz throwing out another black actor as a contender to play 007 doesn’t absolve him of his language. All it means is that — to Horowitz — Lester is the right KIND of black. Not too “street,” whatever his definition of that is. How much street is too much street, Mr. Horowitz?
ORIGINAL ARTICLE BELOW:
Another day, another white dude talking about James Bond in coded racism. Today’s contestant is none other than author Anthony Horowitz. The British novelist was recently commissioned by the estate of Ian Fleming to pen a new James Bond novel. “Trigger Mortis” is set to drop on September 8th and, as such, Horowitz has been making the press rounds.
During an interview with the The Daily Mail, Horowitz declared “Skyfall” as the worst Bond film ever for daring to show Bond as vulnerable and human. He then went on to give his opinion of Idris Elba as 007.
I bet you can guess where this is going.
“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.”
Much like calling someone urban, the use of “street” in this instance has some very strong undertones. How exactly is Idris Elba too rough and unsophisticated for the role of James Bond?
Was Idris “too rough” as Luther when he stared down death in one of the most intense scenes of the show?
Is this not the face of suave seduction?
What more do you want, Anthony Horowitz!?