When rumors cropped up that distinguished actor Idris Elba would be the first black actor to portray James Bond in the series, for the most part, everyone was excited to see what Elba would bring to the role.
Now, the James Bond author is turning heads by saying that Idris Elba is “too street” to play James Bond. Many believe this is a racist assessment of Idris’ talents as an actor, whose career has varied in roles throughout the years.
According to the Daily Mail, author Anthony Horowitz, the author of the new novel Trigger Mortis, called Idris Elba “too street.”
At the time, he said, “Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better.”
He continued, “For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a color issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”
Since the quotes came out about Horowitz disdain for Elba, he has since released an apology.
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
His statement in full reads as follows.
“I’m really sorry my comments about Elba have caused offence. That wasn’t my intention. I was asked in my interview if Idris Elba would make a good James Bond. In the articles 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.”
This isn’t the first time someone has objected to Elba as a good choice for James Bond. Rush Limbaugh said that Elba shouldn’t play James Bond because he’s black.
Back in December he said, “James Bond is a total concept put together by author Ian Fleming. He was white and Scottish. Period. That is who James Bond is, was. But now they are suggesting that the next James Bond should be Idris Elba, a black Briton, that than a white from Scotland, but that’s not who James Bond is. and I know it’s racist to probably point this out.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Idris Elba’s name has been taken out of the race, so right now we don’t know who’s in the actual running for the role.
At the time, Elba said, “Honestly, it’s a rumor that’s really starting to eat itself. If there was ever any chance of me getting Bond, it’s gone.”
[Photo by WPA Pool / Getty Images]