Roger Moore has found himself in a world of controversy after making some recent remarks about Idris Elba.
Last year, Luther fans all over the world rejoiced when a leaked email written by ex-Sony Pictures exec Amy Pascal revealed she was interested in having Elba play James Bond. But Moore, who portrayed the iconic super-spy in seven films, doesn’t seem to be excited about having a black man as the next heir to his throne.
In an interview with Paris Match magazine, the 87-year-old actor opined,
A few years ago, I said that Cuba Gooding Jr. would make an excellent Bond, but it was a joke!
Although James may have been played by a Scot, a Welshman and an Irishman, I think he should be ‘English-English.’ Nevertheless, it’s an interesting idea, but unrealistic.
When the interview was published, Moore immediately received backlash on social media, with many particularly upset by his assertion that Elba was not “English-English.” The general consensus seemed to be that telling an English man — who was born in England — that he’s not English enough is just thinly veiled racism.
Yesterday, he took to Twitter to explain that this was all just a misunderstanding.
An interview I gave to Paris Match implies I said something racist about Idris Elba. That is simply untrue. #Lost in translation.
— Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) March 28, 2015
One can only speculate about what Moore really said to the publication, but when Elba himself was asked about potentially playing 007, he simply responded “Yes, if it was offered to me, absolutely.”
Below is a tribute to Moore in the role that made his career.
Grio fam, do you think Elba can fill his shoes?