Idris Elba has become such a star in England that even Kate Middleton looked rather smitten when she had the chance to meet him. That kind of widespread recognition, however, hasn’t been enough for conservative radio pundit Rush Limbaugh. Even though Rush isn’t a Brit himself, he did feel the need to weigh on on rumors that Idris might be taking over the iconic role of James Bond — the first time that a black man would play 007.
Elba didn’t directly hit back at Limbaugh for his comments, but instead employed the classy move of thanking his supporters instead of tearing down his opponents.
Isn’t 007 supposed to handsome? Glad you think I’ve got a shot! Happy New year people. pic.twitter.com/3g9lAl2Uo3
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) December 27, 2014
Rush’s argument against a black Bond hinges on the idea that the fictional character does indeed hold a certain firmly rooted racial profile. James’ creator Ian Fleming, says Limbaugh, would have never imagined the character as a black man, previously reported the Inquisitr.
“James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming. He was white and Scottish, period. That is who James Bond is. We’ve had 50 years of White Bonds because Bond is white. Bond was never black. Ian Fleming never created a black Brit to play James Bond.”
Rush continued to flesh out his talking points by making comparison to other popular figures and questioning whether or not it would be “equal” for white actors to play prominent black historical and political figures.
“Sometimes, a story is just a story. But we can always make it better. We can always be more fair. We can always be more equal about it. So, fine and dandy. George Clooney and Kate Hudson as Barack and Michelle Obama, and you can have Idris Elba as James Bond.”
Many commenters were confused by this logic, saying that a fluid fictional character being played by a different race was not the same as a real person — particularly one whose story is so tied to their race like the Obamas — being whitewashed.
Rush Limbaugh is upset that a fictional character is being played by a black man. So tell me again how Rush isn’t blatantly racist?
— Qrys Bin Thynkn (@QrysBinThynkn) December 26, 2014
News first broke that Idris was being considered for the role in the midst of the controversial Sony leak information, reported BBC News. Elba seems to be open to the idea. He had previously said that he was interested in playing James Bond during a Reddit AMA.
Do you think Idris Elba would be a good choice for the next James Bond?
[Image via DeviantArt]