The author of the upcoming James Bond novel has issued an apology for dismissing actor Idris Elba for the spy role by calling him “too street,” CNNreports.
Anthony Horowitz, the seventh writer to pen a James Bond novel, spoke to The Daily Mail over the weekend about his book Trigger Mortis and Hollywood’s depiction of the iconic character.
When asked if current 007 star Daniel Craig should step aside for a new Bond to come through, Horowitz said he would go with British actor Adrian Lester instead of Elba, because he found the actor “too street” for the role.
“Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better,” he said. “For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a colour issue. I think he is probably a bit too “street” for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”
For years, fans have advocated for a Black bond, electing Elba for the position. While the role that made him a household name (Stringer Bell on The Wire) could be seen as “street,” his roles in films like Takers, Pacific Rim, Daddy’s Little Girls, and others have proved his thespian skills are far from limited.
Elba even received praise for his role as the late Nelson Mandela in the 2013 release, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.His endorsementdeals with Glacéau Smartwater, Tanqueray, and Skybox also prove his selling power.
Backlash against Horowitz’s comments ensued Tuesday morning, and Elba became a trending topic. Magazines like GQ and Maxim defended the actor by showing off his most debonair looks:
While Horowitz based his “too street” comment on Elba’s work in the hit drama Luther, his comments also reveal how much writers and Hollywood want to keep Bond traditional or, for lack of a better term, White.
The author issued an apology on Twitter, but the damage was already done.