In recent weeks, since the Sony hack that led to the leak of many documents and e-mails, there has been increasing “chatter” about the possibility of Idris Elba taking over the role of James Bond.
Now, granted, this is not the first mention of Elba taking up the mantle of the most storied member of Her Majesty’s Secret Service. In a 2011 interview on NPR, Elba addressed speculation that he may eventually replace Daniel Craig as the “black James Bond”.
“I just don’t want to be the black James Bond,” stated Elba. “Sean Connery wasn’t the Scottish James Bond and Daniel Craig wasn’t the blue-eyed James Bond, so if I played him, I don’t want to be called the black James Bond.”
There is a precedent for James Bond being something other than Scottish. Sean Connery is of course Scottish, nothing could be done to hide that brogue. Yet, one of his first replacements, George Lazenby, is Australian.
Roger Moore, who would appear in seven total Bond films (the most of any Bond actor), is from London. Timothy Dalton, who appeared in only two Bond films, is from Wales.
Pierce Brosnan, who does have a lovely and posh British accent, was Born in Ireland. Daniel Craig, the man currently serving under the designation of 007, is from Cheshire, England.
What many people may not know is that James Bond was first portrayed by American actor Barry Nelson, in the 1954 teleplay of Casino Royale. Not only was Bond portrayed as an American agent, but was repeatedly referred to as “Jimmy”.
So let’s not beleaguer the fact that James Bond has been played by more actors who were not of Scottish descent, than those who are. The truth of the matter is that there is obviously one other incredibly ugly reason some may not want him to play the role.
In the wake of the rumors that Elba may be sought to play the part of James Bond, overweight, white, American radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh decided to opine on the subject.
“James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming. He was white and Scottish. Period. That is who James Bond is, was,” Limbaugh said. “But now (they are) suggesting that the next James Bond should be Idris Elba, a black Briton, rather than a white from Scotland. But that’s not who James Bond is.” Limbaugh also acknowledged “I know it’s racist to probably point this out.”
According to Variety, Elba took to Twitter earlier with his own special response to these remarks.
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
It’s almost 2015, there’s a black Nick Fury, there’s a black Johnny storm coming soon, and there already is a black Miss Moneypenny.
All of these characters were traditionally white in their original incarnations. I think it’s time that we all just relax and give the idea of a black James Bond a chance – especially if he’s portrayed by as gifted an actor as Idris Elba.