The entertainment media industry is an unpredictable one, that’s why many content makers tend to stick with things they find familiar and previously successful rather than attempting new and unheard of plots and story lines. Sticking to what’s familiar often results in cross-production, take the James Bond Franchise. From books, comics, many movies, TV shows, and even radio, Agent 007 can be seen in all types of media. But what about changing things up a bit?
Amidst the hacking of Sony’s emails back in December 2014, an email exchange about the possibility of Idris Elba, a black man, playing James Bond in the next movie sparked a small debate.
Rush Limbaugh, an American radio show host, said that James Bond must and can only be white and Scottish and was never created to be black. In the video above Cenk Ugyer reacts by making one important statement, while Bond has always been white, he’s a fictional character, and Ugyer is right. Fictional characters aren’t real, they’re the results of creative minds, they aren’t walking among us. This means other creative minds can change fictional characters however way we want them to be changed. From the start if James Bond had been created as black, he could have been changed at any point. The movies could have taken an originally black James Bond and white-washed the movie cast just like they always do a majority of the time (but that’s a different topic). So what’s the difference if they cast Idris Elba as Daniel Craig’s successor? There shouldn’t be a difference, but unfortunately many people think there is, just because they have a problem with the color of his skin. There are people out there that look at race over talent.
Aside from negative responses, not everyone holds racist reactions, an article from the daily dot addresses great reasons for the need of a black actor to play James Bond. Specifically addressing the need for black actors to get better roles and the fact that if Bond Girls and the villains can be portrayed by a variety of actors and actresses so can James Bond. The article also mentions when Denzel Washington, who has a impressive list of box-office successes, caused #denzelisjamesbond to trend on Twitter after he tweeted he would take on an opportunity to play James Bond. There shouldn’t be a reason to deny him with his amount of talent, the same case for other talents including Idris Elba. The only way black actors can get bigger is if they get these big opportunities in the first place.
Idris Elba addressed the rumor stating:
“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.”
So, unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing Elba as Bond, but film makers need to wake up and give black actors, and other minorities better opportunities.