Rush Limbaugh fumes: Idris Elba can’t play ‘007’ because ‘James Bond is white and Scottish, period’
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh complained on Tuesday about the prospect of Luther and The Wire star Idris Elba playing superspy James Bond in a movie, Media Matters reported.
“James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming,” Limbaugh said. “He was white and Scottish, period. That is who James Bond is.”
As The Daily Beast reported late last week, the hack against Sony Pictures Entertainment revealed that the company’s co-chair, Amy Pascal, recommended Elba for the role to an executive at Columbia Pictures, which distributes the Bond film series.
Columbia’s contract with the current Bond, Daniel Craig, runs out following the release of the next installment, Spectre, in November 2015.
“We’ve had 50 years of white Bonds because Bond is white,” Limbaugh argued. “Bond was never Black. Ian Fleming never created a Black Brit to play James Bond.”
However, Limbaugh did not mention that the character has not been played by a Scot since Sean Connery in 1983’s Never Say Never Again. Bond has also been portrayed by an Australian actor, George Lazenby, and Pierce Brosnan, a native of Ireland. Limbaugh also failed to mention that Fleming, who created Bond, told The New Yorker in 1962 that the character’s name was taken from an American ornithologist who he thought had “the dullest name [he] ever heard.”
But after explaining Bond’s roots as a fictional character, Limbaugh tried to compare casting Elba in that role to enlisting white actors to play actual Black people. He then tried to imagine white people playing Al Sharpton, Nelson Mandela, Condolezza Rice, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
“Sometimes, a story is just a story. But we can always make it better,” he said. “We can always be more fair. We can always be more equal about it. So, fine and dandy. George Clooney and Kate Hudson as Barack and Michelle Obama, and you can have Idris Elba as James Bond.”
Listen to Limbaugh’s commentary, as posted on Tuesday by Media Matters, below.