The name is Bond. James Bond.
He’s a silver screen legend. The 007 every girl dreams of dating and every guy wishes he was. He’s cool, he’s debonair, and his accent is outta this world. Because, he’s British. Not gay. Just British. Or in one case, Scottish.
Also… James Bond is white. Anglo-Saxon British/Scottish white.
And guess what… That’s okay! Some people are born white and they’re allowed to be that way (unless and until they choose to transition, of course). Shocking, I know… but historically, James Bond has always been portrayed by a white male.
But, as the Telegraph reported today, some people are up in arms about the man’s skin color.
People have accused the author Anthony Horowitz of racism after he said that Idris Elba is not ‘suave’ enough to play James Bond – and, in fact, that he is ‘too street’.
However Horowitz, whose first Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, is published this month, insisted that “it is not a colour issue”. He told The Mail on Sunday: “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.”
Here’s the crazy thing, a white 007 has only, all of a sudden, become a racist concept in 2015. Connery, Moore, Dalton and Brosnan are all retroactive, honorary Klansman. Congratulations you guys, you’ve earned it. These are the same people who complained about Spiderman being white, btw. They’ve run out of causes, so they’re making up new ones.
Here’s the deal. Idris Elba is a good actor. No, a great actor. I wouldn’t even have a problem with him being the next Bond.
However, I’m thinking that the person who best knows which actors most closely personify James Bond… is probably the author of James Bond. So if the man who wrote up James Bond says Idris Elba isn’t suave enough to play Bond… he probably means he isn’t suave enough to play Bond. If he says it’s not about a color issue… it’s probably not a color issue.
What’s next? Tranny Bond? Perhaps Zac Effron as “Shaft”?
At the risk of being dubbed racist, let us point out once again that James Bond has a longstanding history of being portrayed by British, white men. Legends created the legend. Sean Connery? The man personifies James Bond. The two are practically synonymous. Pierce Brosnan? Equal parts suave and hairy. Timothy Dalton? Well, forget that guy.
Do you know how many black James Bond’s there’ve been? Probably the exact appropriate amount in response to its targeted market.
How many sitcoms of white southerners are found on BET? Probably the exact appropriate amount in response to its targeted market.
Bond was created as a fantasy for the everyday Englishmen (and ultimately, Americans). He was created by a prolific author, manicured and meticulously maintained as a brand for marketability and strong staying power. Listen, Bond films are formulaic. To all of a sudden claim that the formula is racist is asinine. It also breeds more division than it bridges.
Some heroes are white, some heroes are black. Ain’t no thang, baby. Dig it?