'James Bond' Author Apologizes For Calling Idris Elba "Too Street" To Play Agent 007
It’s no great revelation that cinema fans the world over would love to see Idris Elba star in the James Bond franchise–and not as a sidekick or cunning villain but as the lead character himself, her majesty’s greatest secret agent. Elba fits all the requirements; he’s dashing, witty and British. But recently one prominent author in the Bond franchise quipped that he sees the veteran actor as “too street” for the part.
The off-base remarks came during a Daily Mail interview with Anthony Horowitz, the author of the new Bond novel Trigger Mortis, which is due to hit bookstores next week. When asked about the prospect of Elba stepping into the legendary role, Horowitz confessed “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.” What followed was a firestorm of criticism, with many pointing out that the Bond franchise has had a history of erasing and/or parodying minority characters, objectifying women and generally adhering to a “white male colonial hero” view of the world.
Horowitz scrambled to apologize for his remarks Tuesday, uploading an extended, contrite statement to Twitter in which he expressed being “mortified at having caused offense.”
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
It should be pointed out that the voice actor chosen to play James Bond in the audiobook version of Trigger Mortis is none other than David Oyelowo, technically the first black man to “play” Bond in history. In comments made earlier this spring, Elba admitted that the 007 speculation is a rumor that’s “really starting to eat itself.” We, at least, wouldn’t mind a double agent with a little more street sense