Idris Elba has hit back after drawing massive criticism last month for revealing he no longer describes himself as a “black actor.”
The Luther star, 50, who is of Ghanaian and Sierra Leone Creole descent, caused a social media backlash when he gave details how he found the label ‘Black actor’ put him in a ‘box’, and that an “obsession” with race can hinder aspirations and growth.
He told Esquire: ‘We have to grow. We have to. Our skin is just that: it’s just skin. Go berserk.’
He added: “Racism is very real. But from my perspective, it’s only as powerful as you let it be.
Now the actor has doubled down on his comments in a new interview with the Guardianslamming fans who accused him of “denying his blackness” with his controversial comments.
Notes: Idris Elba has hit back after drawing massive criticism last month for revealing he no longer describes himself as a ‘black actor’ (pictured March 1)
He said, “Saying I don’t like to call myself a black actor is my prerogative. That’s me, not you. So for you to turn around and say to me, I deny my blackness.
‘On what grounds? Did you hear that? Where do I deny it? And for what? It’s just stupid. Whatever.’
In his February interview, The Wire star continued that while he is a member of the black community, he does not emphasize this when it comes to his career.
Idris explained to the publication that his choice to become an actor was not because of the lack of diversity in the profession, but because it was a career in which he believed he would thrive.
“When you climb the ladder, you’re asked what it’s like to be the first black person to do this or that,” he continued.
“Well, it’s the same as it would be if I were white. It’s the first time for me. I don’t want to be the first black. I’m the first Idris.’
Some three days after the interview ended, the Luther star decided to take to Twitter and flesh out his quote, while at the same time making sure everyone knows he’s a proud black man.
“There is not a soul on this earth that can question whether I consider myself a BLACK MAN or not,” he began in the tweet, adding, “Being an “actor” is a profession, like being an “architect”, they are not defined by race. However, if YOU define your work by your race, that is your perogative. Ah lie?’
He said, “Saying I don’t like to call myself a black actor is my prerogative. That’s me, not you. So for you to turn around and say to me, I deny my blackness. ‘On what grounds? Did you hear that? Where do I deny it? (pictured in Luther)
Interview: The Luther star, 50, who is of Ghanaian and Sierra Leonean Creole descent, caused a social media backlash when he detailed how he thought the black actor label put him in a ‘box’ and that an ‘obsession’ with race can hinder aspirations and growth (Pictured May 2022)
Race and acting: “Being an “actor” is a profession, like being an “architect” they are not defined by race,” he shared on Twitter
In 2020, Idris revealed that he experiences racism “as often as breathing.”
During a live-streamed discussion about the Black Lives Matter movement, the actor said, “Success hasn’t negated racism for me. Asking me about racism is like asking how long I’ve been breathing.”
The actor recently returned as DCI John Luther in Luther: The Fallen Sun, the big-screen continuation of the TV series, and hopes the character can take a piece of 007’s “real estate.”
The gritty new film, starring Andy Serkis as cyber-serial killer David Robey, has so far been panned by critics following Netlfix’s release last week.
Idris thinks the Luther movie is “long overdue” and is already making plans for the big screen future.
The Beasts of No Nation star said, “Hopefully this is the start of the new chapter. Sounds trite, but you know, we got off television, we went as far as we could and now we have the world as our stage. Big epic landscapes and you know endless stories.’
Elba suggested that Luther might encounter multiple villains in the next film.
He said, “No spoilers, but I think there could be more than one.”
But The Fallen Sun has so far been panned by critics after the Netflix crime thriller was shown in select cinemas ahead of its streaming release.
Available soon! Luther: The Fallen Sun will be released on Netflix on March 10
Idris’ latest film has received a spate of two-star reviews, with critics claiming that the “ridiculous” image is “jumbled,” “far-fetched,” and “ridiculous.”
The film, which hits the small screen on March 10, follows DCI John Luther (Idris) as he escapes his maximum security prison to capture a cyber psychopath and serial killer played by Andy Serkis.
But Variety has painted the ‘difficult to take seriously’ picture rich said the film – based on the 2010 BBC series – felt ‘rather recycled’.
Brian Viner wrote in the Daily Mail: ‘It bombards us with an overload of everything, especially plot, with a psychotic villain played by Andy Serkis who seems to have arrived in modern London straight from the bowels of the underworld.’