Somehow it’s become unofficial law that Idris Elba’s name must be a part of any conversation about who would be the next best James Bond. (Trivia: Elba has said that it was current 007 Daniel Craig who started this whole thing in the first place: “I blame Daniel,” Elba has joked. )
So it’s hard to imagine how the actor felt after yesterday’s kerfuffle. To recap: Anthony Horowitz, the author of a new James Bond novel, told The Daily Mail that he didn’t think Elba was the right man for the job. “Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better,” Horowitz said. “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.”
The world reacted with appropriate outrage and Horowitz quickly took to Twitter to apologize: “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.”
On Tuesday, Elba took to his Instagram account — this controversy is hitting all the social media platforms — to respond, keeping things classy (as usual):
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