I haven’t been so ashamed of the modern human race as I have been recently. A number of things are considerably wrong in our society. But the latest- the hubbub over if a black actor should play James Bond. Really? Is it 2015? Or should I put on my hoop skirt and hope Lincoln gets elected?
Not as many folks are as die hard Bond fans as THIS girl. Me. Daniel Craig is my guy. He’s my boo. Well, he doesn’t know about me, but he’s the best Bond ever. Okay, okay. Settle down Sean Connery fans and Roger Moore fans. I hear you.
Those older Bond movies are in a different class of Bond. It’s the cheesy 60s and 70s over the top Pussy Galore spy genre that only Bond can do. Those men made the smirky Bond of those decades a decadent tease that was fun to watch. Full of gold lame, Cold War villans, and disco technicolor.
But Craig’s Bond changed that. It’s grittier, modern, and a whole lot sexier. Bond is serious, pouty, more brooding. He also is more stunt driven. Daniel Craig is running along the top of moving trains, not on a treadmill in front of a green screen. Villains are not just Soviet empires but cyber tyrants, middle eastern terrorists, and more and more the landscape of actual evils we face today.
So who is this Idris Elba fellow and why do we care? Well, I know what you’re thinking, ‘Is this just a ploy to once again show your Emmy picture with Idris?” Maaaybe.
No actually. It’s because after the Sony hack, emails were revealed that Idris Elba would be considered for the next franchise of Bond movies after the last Daniel Craig movie, Spectre, is released later this year. Idris is from England, an Oscar nominated actor for his Nelson Mendela performance “Long Walk to Freedom” in 2014 and also an Emmy nominated actor for his work in Luther, the BBC crime drama. (Which I highly recommend binge-watching all 3 seasons on your laptop while doing absolutely nothing else because you will be addicted.)
And then the Internet exploded like it was 1964. First it was Douche Limbaugh ranting that Bond has always been white. “He’s a Scottsman that is White.” “Period.” White. Did you get that? Like Santa. FOX News likes their folks W H I T E. Oh puhleeze. Get over yourself Rush! I wouldn’t care so much, only his show attracts 20 million listeners per week.
That’s weird. Because I’m pretty sure that there are black men living in Scotland. Oh, and guess what else? There’s black men who are working for M I 6. The British version of the CIA. Formerly M I 5- and now SIS.
But then he clarified that Bond is a fictional character so it wouldn’t really matter because, oh my gosh, HE’S NOT REAL. Bond is based on the character in the books by Ian Fleming. (Who also wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I know, I know, my ridiculous knowledge of trivia is crazy.) Bond could be played by a Chinese British guy right? I mean, as long as he’s British.
And then Mr. Limbaugh went on to say that if folks want a ‘Black Bond’ then let’s just have George Clooney play Obama in his biopic. Oh wait- OBAMA IS A REAL PERSON! But let’s not waste anymore time on the fact that a high profiled radio host doesn’t know the difference between fiction and non-fiction.
Apparently, this discussion was going on a year ago that Idris was considered for Bond. There’s a Huff Post article where Elba expresses that he doesn’t want to play Bond if it’s going to be referred to as ‘Black Bond’. And I don’t blame him.
In typical Hollywood fashion, not one major blockbuster franchise or movie has ever featured a black actor in the lead; Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean…
If you’re actually considering audience demographics, our male leads should be more diverse considering Hispanics make up for more than 25% of ticket buyers as just one example.
It’s a tough ceiling to crack. Hollywood likes like white men. How many times do you hear at award shows, “This has been a wonderful year for women in film.” Yeah. That phrase bugs me too. Men dominate the film industry. And when good stuff for women comes up, everyone makes a big deal about it. At least we’ve stopped counting the number of black actors who have won awards. After Halle Berry won the Oscar for Best Actress, we have focused less on the ‘black winners’ when Lupita Nyong’o and Octavia Spencer won theirs. They were just ‘Oscar winning actresses’. Finally!
Do we have to label everything? The first Jewish actor to win, the first gay actor to win! It’s as if we’re surprised when someone other than a white guy wins. Which is saying something.
I mean, come on people. We are so backwards as a country still. Even with Obama in office, a good percentage of this country isn’t comfortable with seeing a black man in a position of authority. Sorry, to say it. But it’s true. If the last few years have proven anything, it’s that we thought overt racism had died down a little after the civil rights movement, but it didn’t at all. A lot of people are just as racist as we’ve always been.
Even women get the short end of the stick when it comes to progress in this great country. Kosovo, Liberia, Argentina and Denmark all have female presidents. The USA? Still waiting.
I’m pretty sure there are plenty of UK Bond fans that want their Bond white like the good old days. Heck, even Daniel Craig got flack because he was ‘too blond’ to play Bond. Tall dark and handsome apparently is the definition of 007. And white. Let’s not forget white.
Insert eye roll here.
With enough public attention, and whatever the Broccoli family decides, the original creators and owners of the Bond brand, we can have Bond be whoever we want him to be.
What makes a good Bond? He has rugged good looks, looks awesome in a tux, can kick major Bond villain ass, and knows how to seduce the ladies. And by those qualifications- Idris is perfect. #IdrisElbaforBond