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Bond, James Bond.

Who is he?

He’s a fictional British Secret Service agent created by writer Ian Fleming in the 1950’s; a blend of a number of different people Fleming met as a Naval Intelligence officer during World War II.

What is he?

He’s white because Fleming says he based the character off of his brother and several other British military and Intelligence types.

His name is American though.

The real James Bond was a famous American ornithologist, an expert in birds of the Caribbean.

But what he’s not is black, according to Anthony Horowitz the latest and seventh writer to write an original James Bond novel.

Horowitz was responding to a groundswell that it’s time for the popular fictional character to evolve with the times and that black and British actor Idris Elba should him.

In an interview in The Daily Mail Horowitz said Elba is too “street” to play Bond.

Well, the internet exploded with the #TooStreet became the leading meme.

Most people weighed in by saying Horowitz should just admit that he wanted Bond to remain white.

There’s even a betting war going on in the UK about who will play the next James Bond when Daniel Craig is done.

While BoyleSports says actor Tom Hardy of Batman and Mad Max fame is the odds on favorite at 4/1, Elba is a close second at 3/1.

After the uproar over his comments Horowitz took to twitter to apologize writing, “I’m really sorry my comments about Idris Elba have caused offence.  That wasn’t my intention.  I was asked in my interview if Idris Elba would make a good James Bond.  In the article I expressed the opinion that to my mind Adrian Lester would be a better choice but I’m a writer not a casting director so what do I know?  Clumsily, I chose the word ‘street’ as Elba’s gritty portrayal of DCI John Luther was in my mind but I admit it was a poor choice of word.  I am mortified to have caused offence.

Elba finally responded yesterday by tweeting, “Always Keep Smiling!! It takes no energy and never hurts!  Learned that from the Street!! #septemberstillloveyou.

Elba has said he’d be open to playing Bond.

At least one former Bond, Pierce Brosnan says it’s time for a bit more diversity in the role.

But, is the writer right?

Was he being racist or was he taken out of context?

After all, his original quote was this, “Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better.’

He went on to name Adrian Lester who starred in Hustle and then 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.’

We must keep in mind though that becoming a character is what all good actors do, no matter their gender or ethnicity.

And Idris Elba is a very accomplished actor.

Just like Meryl Streep who is not even British could morph into Margaret Thatcher, perhaps Idris Elba could do the same when it comes to Bond.

It’s called acting.

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19 thoughts on “Don Lemon: Bond, Black Bond – It’s Time!

  1. No one wants to play that tired a** Bond character. It’s been done! We do NOT need a Black Bond!!!! Keep it moving folks!!! Sean Connery was the best one. The rest were mehhh!!!

  2. IanRousseault on said:

    There is NO need to see a Black James Bond! The character was written as a Man from Scotland and that’s fine! You do not have to make everything in life black and white. Grow up people and move on!

  3. What the hell if produce a black bond episode OK fine then whats next a gay one?
    What about if someone decides to reproduce the iconic SHAFT movie casting a white guy as said detective

  4. specialt757 on said:

    James Patterson the writer of famous crime thriller novels like Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider features the black detective Alex Cross. Movies were made starring Morgan Freeman and Tyler Perry as Alex Cross. Had this movie been made with a white guy (any white actor) to portray Alex Cross, the black community would have been in a serious uproar. I wonder why James Bond is different for some people. Playing James Bond was probably not even on Idris’ radar, but I’m sure if offered he could play the role to perfection. He’s busy doing other assignments, it’s not a big deal until people make it a big deal.

    • I agree in the main.
      However, there is such little roles written specifically for black characters, unless Actors can be cast solely on their abilities and physique/ stature etc and not purely based on skin tone, there is little work around for them.
      My point is, that most writers create a character, the ethnicity of that character is not always germane to the plot, a little bit more creativity and adaptability can create more work for all actors and make viewing more interesting.
      – I think Adrian Lester although Black British would not put that debonair ‘sexy’ charisma into the Bond like Idris Elba would, so its is definitely not just about being black, its what the individual would bring to the role.

  5. – writing comments without checking on my info.
    The writer of James Bond, Ian Fleming did have a home in Jamaica, called ‘Goldeneye’
    He wrote Casino Royale there and lived next door to Noel Coward, in JAMAICA.
    – I knew I had heard it sometime before whilst on holiday there.
    So no, I think, even he would have recognised the evolving of his character James Bond, into a modern context.
    Just shows how good an actor Idris is, that this chap was thinking of his ‘Luther’ character and not him. Luther is a detective an not a street hood, on the BBC, this geezer ‘H’ he is back peddling sum what.

  6. Hollywood Exec just sounds scared about casting a black male lead who will have to kiss a white woman on film – Ahh, shock, horror, TABOO!!!
    Time to move on now Hollywood, it really is.
    By the way; Didn’t Alexander Fleming, the writer of Bond, have a home in Port Royal, Jamaica??

  7. This is just a big to do about nothing. Thank goodness, Mr. Elba, is man enough to rise above this foolishness, he has handled this matter with humor, professionalism, and maturity. Mr. Elba, is an extremely talented actor, and very handsome, with those qualities, I’m sure he has plenty of job offers to keep him busy.

    • You are correct.
      He knows what is for him is for him.
      He does so deserve it though.
      Idris is the C21st, post modern James Bond.
      He would bring back ‘sexy’ to the role, in a cool, debonair way like Sean Connery & Roger Moore did, and of course he is British, so would have the accent.
      – the theaters as you call them, cinemas would be packed out; ALL women, ALL gay men and more importantly ALL young boys who would have a role model in a James Bond they can relate to.
      Definitely he deserves this role now, its time for a change.
      Idris for James Bond!!
      So, so proud of this black Brit!

      • specialt757 on said:

        Ms. UK you sound very passionate about Idris Elba playing a British spy. J.K. Rowling (creator of Harry Potter) was a secretary when she imagined Harry Potter and she is extremely rich now. I think you have what it takes, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could create a suave, debonair, handsome, and rich, oh did I mention black character with Idris is mind that would go on to sell millions? If you can imagine it you can make it happen.

  8. My daughter met Daniel Craig in the same US city Idris filmed and we LOVE Daniel. My first black Bond would have been Denzel. Even Terrance Howard has that Bond look and charisma like Denzel!Recently we enjoyed NWA and Mission Impossible movies. Now excited for Adele and Bond!!

    • Oh Don as a TJMS X mas Wish alum (he sent us to Disney World) I listened to you this morning on this subject. I LOVE satellite radio. No d@ commercials or pointless interviews BUT I turn back to Oh Oh Oh it’s the Tom Joyner Morning Show…aint that some shigady HUGGIEEEEEEE here in Cookiemonster (Taraji)land da DMV!!!

  9. Hey Don , one of the most noted spy during The US Civil War was Mary Elizabeth Bowser (born c. 1839 was an American freed slave …….aka ” Bond …Ellen Bond”….hmmmmm

  10. jerry washington on said:

    Yeah I read the interview I read the comment about you just being to straighten and I think he’s correct so we can always go race as an issue simply because if Jeff of writers perogative and James Bond was white and why does he have to be black I mean why does he have to be anything the original works out very well so everything can always be color I mean I don’t get to the bay but I guess ultimately baby there are some people that want him to be black I think you find being white I mean that’s just like me to come and white I’ll do better by being black that’s all I know and until I know differently then I know how to simulate as much as I can but its for the James Bond roll why mess up a good thing I mean Perry Mason’s a black attorney or white attorney fuse me and I like him just the way he is Batman Robin all those people they are who they are when we create other characters so that why we doing James Bond we can also include other people who are naturally gifted as they are the James Bond of the black man maybe but in reality I like James Bond just the way it is

  11. specialt757 on said:

    Ian Fleming created a fictional character in his mind, having certain characteristics, British, white, suave, and debonair. Idris can be all these things except white. He’s a very good actor and probably would make a great James Bond, but what is the big deal because this “creator” says he’s “too street” for the part and for blacks that meant he is “too black”. That’s his perception and it didn’t even seem like it was said to be offensive. What we worry about in this country is so darn trivial it’s ridiculous. jmo

  12. Timothy Green on said:

    Dude made a non PC statement, folks do it all the time, unless there’s other incidents or comments he’s said in the past or makes in the future then it was just that simple life goes on

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