Author Anthony Horowitz has penned a new James Bond adventure, Trigger Mortis, based on the characters created by Ian Fleming.
While the book is exciting fans, it is Horowitz’s recent interview with The Daily Mail that is really making headlines.
He was asked by The Mail if British actor Idris Elba would make a good James Bond after Daniel Craig hangs up his tux.
Horowitz said: “Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better. For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a color issue. I think he is probably a bit too “street” for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”
The internet lit up with criticism:
Is "street" the UK's version of "urban" in terms of coded racism? Idris Elba is a lot of things, but "street" ain't one of 'em.— Jamilah Lemieux (@JamilahLemieux) September 1, 2015
"Sorry. What I meant to say was Idris Elba is too" *consults racist euphemism cheat sheet* "urban contemporary to play the new James Bond."— Kit Lovelace (@kitlovelace) September 1, 2015
If you google Idris Elba’s name, here are the first three images that show up. pic.twitter.com/znVTiqibfP— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) September 1, 2015
Set aside for two secs Idris Elba being the smoothest man on the planet, isn't acting about, um, playing the part of something you aren't?— Felicity Morse (@FelicityMorse) September 1, 2015
After the backlash, Howorwitz took to Twitter to give a lengthy apology to Elba.
I'm really sorry my comments about Idris Elba have caused offence [full statement attached] pic.twitter.com/UD6ouA45Uv— Anthony Horowitz (@AnthonyHorowitz) September 1, 2015
Rumors have swirled that Elba could be the first black actor to portray the secret agent - but earlier this year, Elba downplayed the rumors.
The Wire actor said: "Honestly, it’s a rumor that’s really starting to eat itself. If there was ever any chance of me getting Bond, it’s gone," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In 2014, Elba also denounced the phrase “Black Bond” in an interview with ITV.
“We don't say 'White Bond', we just say 'Bond', so it suddenly becomes a black man and he's a 'Black Bond'. So I hate that phrase - and it's a rumor that's gotten out of control, basically - but that's all it is. There's no truth in it whatsoever,” he said.
Former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan recently told Details magazine he would welcome Elba as 007.
"Let's start with a great black actor being James Bond. Idris Elba certainly has the physicality, the charisma, the presence. But I think Daniel [Craig] will be there for a while yet."
The next 007 adventure, SPECTRE is due in theaters this November.
Daniel Craig, who is the sixth actor in the role, has one more film in his contract.
Watch Below: First Time Daniel Craig Ditches Formal Wear in 'Bond' Poster