Rush Limbaugh does not think that James Bond should be played by a black man. He stated on his news program that James Bond “was white and Scottish. Period.” His comments come on the heels of a Sony hacked and leaked email mentioning the possibility of Idris Elba taking on the famous role of 007 once Daniel Craig either fulfills or gets out of his current contract with Sony.
Though James Bond is an iconic creation of novelist Ian Fleming, he is a fictional one, and could theoretically be played by anyone of any race. Rush Limbaugh, however, does not like the suggestion that “the next James Bond should be Idris Elba, a black Briton, rather than a white from Scotland.” According to Limbaugh, “that’s not who James Bond is.” Rush Limbaugh also said that “Ian Fleming never created a Black Brit to play James Bond.”
At one point in his comments, Limbaugh tried to imagine what people would say if someone white was chosen to play famous black people, like President Barack Obama or Michelle Obama, Condolezza Rice, Nelson Mandela and Al Sharpton. He wondered what people would say if George Clooney, for instance, played President Obama or Kate Hudson played First Lady Michele Obama. Of course, these comparisons are ridiculous, as James Bond is not a real person.
Rush Limbaugh added, in one of his more rational moments during the broadcast, that he knew “it’s racist to probably point this out.”
Whoever might eventually be chosen to play the next James Bond, if the role falls to Idris Elba, who has said he would take the role if it was offered, he does not want to be referred to as “the first black James Bond.” He would just like to have his portrayal of Bond considered on the basis of whether or not he does justice to the role, the same as with other actors who have played Bond, like Sean Connery and Daniel Craig. Elba has previously acted in The Wire and Luther.
The name of actor Idris Elba came up as a possible choice in the email of January 4 from the co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment to the former executive vice president of production for Columbia Pictures Elizabeth Cantillon because Daniel Craig has expressed his desire to get out of his current contract with Sony. He has one more James Bond movie to make after the upcoming one is released, Spectre, on November 6 2015, but he has reportedly declared he has never liked to play James Bond and would like to get out of his current contract.
Rush Limbaugh is not one to be afraid about offering his opinion on a wide variety of topics, which is an excellent quality for radio commentators to have. His viewpoints are often controversial ones, but he definitely has the right to speak whatever happens to be on his mind. Of course, people also have the right to not listen to Rush Limbaugh when he offers up notions that appear to be racist.
Columbia and Sony will be eventually needing to find another actor to play James Bond. They may or may not sign a black actor to play the role of 007, but it is a good sign that they are not concerned about even the very idea of having a black actor take on the part, unlike Rush Limbaugh.
Will Idris Elba be the first black James Bond? Is it even fair to refer to him in that way, if he is chosen to play the role? He is certainly a very talented actor who would likely do justice to the character that Ian Fleming created. Please leave any comments below!
Written By Douglas Cobb