Sir Roger Moore has blundered into a race row after apparently claiming that black actor Idris Elba cannot play James Bond. In recent months there has been much speculation that Elba could be next in line to play James Bond, a suggestion that has been welcomed by many of the actors fans.
In the week that the first trailer for the next James Bond movie “Spectre” was released Sir Roger, who played James Bond seven times in the 1970’s and 1980’s, apparently made a gaff that has left Elba’s fans shaken rather than stirred. According to The Telegraph 87-year-old Sir Roger has been forced to defend himself against allegations of racism following comments he made in an interview with Paris Match magazine.
During the interview, the former Bond star was asked whether or not he thought that Elba could play James Bond. The Daily Mail reports that Sir Roger explained that in the past he had suggested that black actor Cuba Gooding Jr. would make an excellent Bond. Moore went on to say that that comment “was a joke.” The former Bond star, who was famous for his suave good looks and charming manner, then went on to say that he didn’t think Idris Elba was “English – English” enough to play Bond.
“Although James Bond may have been played by a Scot, a Welshman and an Irishman, I think he should be ‘English-English’. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting idea, but unrealistic.”
It seems that some people have interpreted this to mean that Moore believes that James Bond should only be played by a white Englishman. Moore has been criticised by many for what have been interpreted as racist comments. Idris Elba was born and brought up in the East End of London and, as many have pointed out, that makes him very English.
Many have commented on the fact that Moore has been domiciled in Monaco and Switzerland for tax purposes since 1978, while Elba continues to live in London.
The Mirror reports that Moore took to social media to defend himself insisting that he had not made a racist comment and that what he had said had been “lost in translation.”
An interview I gave to Paris Match implies I said something racist about Idris Elba. That is simply untrue. #Lost in translation.— Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) March 28, 2015
Idris Elba has constantly been linked with the James Bond role since the Sony e-mail hacking scandal when it emerged that Amy Pascal, then co-chairwoman of Sony Pictures has written that “Idris should be the new Bond.” It is believed that Elba has already held talks with James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli about the role.
It is also claimed that the current Bond, Daniel Craig and former Bond, Pierce Brosnan both think that Elba would be great in the role.
If Elba were to land the role he would be the first black actor to play James Bond.
[Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images]