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Idris Elba: "The Less I Talk About Being Black, The Better"

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 29, 2012 1:49 PM
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Brit import Idris Elba has a reputation for being fairly candid in interviews, and never backing down on comments he makes; two character traits that I think amp up his appeal to his ever-expanding body of fans, as more audiences become familiar with the man and his talents.

He's consistent too, as demonstrated in the snip from an Uptown Magazine piece printed today titled The Question About Black Hollywood That Idris Elba Won’t Answer - on the "shortage of roles for black actors."

Idris' full answer:

"Next question... I’m so bored of answering that. Are there differences between black actors’ opportunities and white actors’ opportunities? Yes, there are. It’s been said. I’d rather a young black actor read about success as opposed to how tough it was. I get these roles because I can act and that’s it. Hopefully that’s it. The less I talk about being black, the better."

The point there (whether you agree with it or not) being that he's an actor, not a "black actor" - at least, that's how he'd prefer to be perceived; a sentiment shared by several of his comtemporaries. As if to say, "relieve me of that burden of representation; am I not a man and not a color?"

That's obviously my interpretation of what he said; I'm sure you have yours.

But Idris exists in both worlds, we could say; he takes on secondary roles in big-budgeted mainstream movies (Thor, Ghost Rider, Prometheus, most recently) - roles in which skin color is really of no bearing on the characters; and then he'll star in a *black film* (or lead a film with an all-black cast) like the upcoming No Good Deed; but he's also proactive in the sense that he'll seek out and produce projects for himself, like the critically-acclaimed Luther, and the upcoming Nelson Mandela biopic; in fact, he was doing just that before most of us knew who he was. 2+ years ago, he produced and starred in an indie thriller many still haven't seen, titled Legacy, directed by Thomas Ikimi.

The man is doing what he has to do to survive in this cutthroat business environment, and whatever he's doing seems to be working for him. 

But I'm sure some will take offense to his "the less I talk about being black, the better" comment; or maybe not. It could be seen as naive on his part, especially when paired with the sentence that comes right before it - this idea of a movement towards a post-racial America specifically, colorblind casting, etc.

Some might say that we should never stop discussing the lack of diversity in film and TV in the USA - at least, not until that discussion leads to change. Although, I'll say that I too am over talking about the shortage of roles for black actors, as I've already said on this site many times in the past. I prefer action over words. My question during these discussions, whenever I'm involved in them, is always, so what do we do about it? 

It all depends on your interpretation I suppose, so I'll leave you folks to it...

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  • Marcus | June 5, 2012 5:16 PMReply

    You say a valid point. But I don't think Mr. Elba had the same thought process as you when it came to answering that question. Mr. Elba is no DIFFERENT then the of these sell out black athletes, actors and actresses that want you to come pay and support their films but when it comes to black social issues that they themselves have experienced their SILENT "I don't wanna talk about it, or think about it" As long as their family is living good thats all that matters. Politics is something I been following closely for quite some time, love it just as much as basketball, and you know how many white actors and actresses I see on television or read on the internet whether their a conservative or a liberal you better believe their speaking their mind. Don't believe me look it up. And I agree for the last couple of years I've noticed Hollywood has let dozens of black british actors in the game. It's bad enough that every week there is some white american or british person is turned into a star every week, and now Hollywood is taking blacks from Britain to come play American black roles. And thats why for the last 6 years black film production has been "corny".

  • Darkan | June 5, 2012 5:41 PM

    @ Marcus. Well said.

  • Zaidi Baraka | June 4, 2012 5:43 PMReply

    I understand where he's coming from. The word, "Black", is a socio-political construct that doesn't speak to our ethnicity, race, or who we are as human beings, and divine spirits. Unless you want to be taken for all you are intrinsically not, go ahead and call yourself, "Black." It was not by happenstance, but divine coordination and intervention, that when Stokely Carmichael raised the cry: "Black Power", Alex Haley showed us how we can discover our Roots! Meanwhile, we adopted the word "Black" as a temporary, generic term, that had more to do with our temporal socio-political circumstances, here in America, then our all-encompassing heritage that began with our forced removal from Africa! Idris Elba is British, whose roots are both Sierra Leonean and Ghanaian. He knows his roots. He knows the richness of his father's and mother's heritage. He knows from whence he come. Thusly, to expect him to embrace the term, "Black", which conveys a vagueness, belittles the deep richness of his roots! Rather than condemn him, we should booth admire him and support him. For Idris is a truly free man!

  • Zaidi Baraka | June 4, 2012 5:18 PMReply

    I understand where he's coming from. The word, "Black", is a socio-political construct that doesn't speak to your ethnicity, race, or who you are as a human being, and divine spirit. Unless you want to be taken for all you are intrinsically not, go ahead and call yourself, "Black." As it is, African-Americans are the only people in the world comfortable with being hyphenated.

  • anyhow8868 | June 4, 2012 2:45 PMReply

    Idris...Idris...Idris...what an...well anyway. Look in the mirror boo. The reason why you got those jobs is because you're Black. Exactly how much work were you getting in England?! You swoop in here thinking it's because you're talented? No sweetie. You were just the next flava. Sure you are talented and fine. But when they cast you, dearie, they're NOT casting a talented and fine actor. They're casting a talented and fine BLACK actor. It's disingenuous for you to...yawn...pretend that you are....yawn...yawn...oh so bored with the question. Get over yourself. As long as you look like you do, dearie, you will be representing. And BTW, if it's too much for you, buy a one way ticket back across the pond and find your glory there. Because they treat you better as an actor there right?

  • Theresa | June 3, 2012 5:48 PMReply

    I love Mr. Elba. He is a wonderful actor and completely right.

  • david | June 1, 2012 12:41 AMReply


  • David | June 1, 2012 12:28 AMReply

    Although I can understand his "I'm bored with this question..." comment, I think its a lot easier for someone who is on top, to say that so freely. Also its a hard question to answer, I even get tired of talking about it sometimes, because when you KNOW its a REAL PROBLEM and someone else doesn't acknowledge it as one it could make anyone angry.

    One valid reason he could have for not wanting to answer is that maybe he sees first hand the opportunities we may have blown to"write,produce,direct" our own projects. He's doing so and ultimately I think that (along with making noise and keep pressure on "THEM") is going to get us "there".

    Also I don't know how "black brits" have it across the pond, and I'm sure its not totally free of racism, but is it the same as here? If not then I can further understand his answer, because it sounds like he's not answering from the same place that an "African American" in his position would.

    Over all I'm torn! I mean I disagree with the statement and I feel that You can never talk about it too much, unless you're not trying and it that case STFU. On the other hand if you are doing something...then fight on!!!!

  • DL | May 31, 2012 4:36 PMReply

    I think in a way this shows how far Idris has got or at least "thinks" he has as it usually the denzel/will smith types that suddenly stop talking about "race" and start talking about "talent" once they've made it but i would mostly attribute this to what gigi said before his black British privilege. Now don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying that black brits are on par with white actors British OR U.S that's ridiculous but are they ahead of aa's in hollywood right now? hell yeah! the few roles earmarked for black people- men AND women are being gobbled up by the brits and you know it. What I cant fathom is why AA's are so in denial about this is it a sense or misguided loyalty, unity or just a desperation to see any black face on the screen no matter where its from even at your OWN expense? If aa's were taking the small amount of roles that black Brits get back in England there would be an OUTCRY we have a similar situation with music. Black singers don't get any attention over here whilst the likes of Beyonce, Rhianna et al are lauded however we are very aware of this and even white record producers, labels and a'n'r's mention it's a problem.
    AA's seem to be very naive when it come to representation not everyone with dark skin represents YOU. Look, the black Brit's in Hollywood may be a passing fad but i think Hollywood is now besotted with foreign blacks mainly and sadly for the reason they don't have the same racial issues and hang-up that aa's do (hence Idris quote) I can't see them ever returning to casting AA men and women in any decent or prominent roles anytime soon so you guys are gonna have to get used to it and create your own stuff.

  • Moionfire | June 4, 2012 3:39 PM

    I think that might be it. After all, there are so many other black actors that could have taken the roles Idris has. But honestly I just think the studios are just hiring more foreigners be they Australian, British or Canadian as a way to avoid having to hire Americans. It is not like Idris is phenomenal in the roles he has been given. And I am not trying to down him, but his rise especially considering his age(almost 40) is strange.

  • Carl | May 31, 2012 5:01 PM

    You are proof that no matter where you are from on the planet, stupidity is universal. How the fuck do you know when your dumb ass is over there and not in the mix here? Generalize often do you? Asshole.

  • misha | May 31, 2012 2:30 PMReply

    Also, I wonder if Idris will want to talk about being black when/if he ever gets the chance to play a black superhero? I suspect race won't be so irrelevant then, eh? I really like Idris but at this point, I'd just rather watch him onscreen and not read/listen to his personal thoughts cause every time he opens his mouth, he says something that makes him more and more unappealing to me.

  • misha | May 31, 2012 2:20 PMReply

    "Nicole, I am suggesting that all actions start with a thought, which leads to conversation and then, and only then, can action ensue. More importantly, if one always talks in ambiguous terms (i.e. soft- soaping, side-stepping, afraid to affend the opposing crowd, etc) it tends to leave a playing field with no defined direction/problem, nor solutions. In short, although I gave Cherish my Martin Luther King award, I'll repeat it for your consideration. "Many people fear nothing more terrible than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambigious that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody"' >>> Congratulations old, rambling one! (lol) You've produced the most astute, insightful post up in here and in doing so, perfectly summed up why Idris' "the less I talk about being black, the better" remark is so troublesome. I could kiss you! ;D

  • CareyCarey | May 31, 2012 2:53 PM

    Stop it Misha, you're gonna make the old goat from Iowa, blush. But seriously, I am glad you arrived. Nicole said she didn't understand what I was saying, so thanks for affirming my opinion. Idris' remark was selfish to say the least and I believe his comment is based in fear. And Misha, don't be kissing on me because you can't handle old school love *LOL*

  • noel | May 31, 2012 10:06 AMReply

    @Careycarey most times your comments make me silently question your sex. Am sure being black and proud aint same as being unbearable and a nag. Idris has all rights to respond to questions how he chooses to. Not you can have him speak another way. Viola davis and steve mcqueen spoke of the lack of casting diversity to what effect? Didn't we see steve mcqueen's shame get snubbed in the academy awards? And Viola knows all black diversity and talks of it still she's got lots of wigs role (won't back down, extremely loud and incredibly close, the help). so what's the talk for? You dont have to like how idris choose to address the question but you should let a man like YOU have his say.

  • CareyCarey | May 31, 2012 12:27 PM

    Noel, thanks for the kind words. Btw, how did you know I teach from experience? I tell all the troubled youth that I can -- (there has been thousands,btw) -- not to do as I did. And remember Ms. Noel, you called ME out. So be prepared and very careful what you ask for. But in this case, I gave you something I know you can use in your future endeavors. Now go out and pursue your dreams. But remember, fear is your enemy. That's right, MLK said it best "Many people fear nothing more terrible than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambigious that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody"

  • noel | May 31, 2012 12:05 PM

    Lord help you to not teach your un/born kids your way of life, careycarey. Forge ahead on your high horses, misplaced opinion and supreme arrogance, can never be bothered with grown ass men who derive gratification from feeling important behind a computer. Carl, thanks brother.

  • Carl | May 31, 2012 11:41 AM

    Well said Noel.

  • CareyCarey | May 31, 2012 11:32 AM

    Well Noel, I am not going to question your sex because you're obviously a queer and a punk. Listen, while you sit on your hands and quiver with fear ("OH LORD, WHAT IS THE WHITE MAN AND OTHER FOLKS GONNA THINK ABOUT ME") some black folks will take a stand regardless of the sacrifics that must be made. Now you can sit on the sidelines and raises your pom-pom for Idris, that's cool, but sometimes -- some goddamn time -- you have to teach a mfker how to treat you, Ms. Noel.

  • Nostradamus_1 | May 31, 2012 5:44 AMReply

    Idris, could have said "I'm doing alright, stuff the others" but chose not to. He could of also hailed himself to be the saviour of black actors (I thank good he chose not to). What he did do was to acknowledge that there are differences between the opportunities of black and white actors. He has been in the business for a number of years, so will have seen many a career fall flat because of an actors off the cuff remark ranging from sexuality, religion or how much they should be paid.

    Personally I like the fact that he has been able to take on such a variety of roles. He and his management team are clearly looking at the bigger picture and not allowing him to be stereotyped.

    The question I would like to ask is: What is a black role? Take a day before answering. During that day take note the multiple roles that black people have in the society around you.

  • gomezlb | May 30, 2012 9:33 PMReply

    I think at this point you have to embody the change everyday, I think that is what he means, the next evolution of things will only be done by people actually choosing more and more to be the change that is necessary. I also think that at some point we will evolve away from black as a modifier to everything. when you see good acting or convincing or entertaining acting you don't think "there goes some good black acting"

  • JMac | May 29, 2012 10:24 PMReply

    Mountain out of a molehill.

  • AccidentalVisitor | May 29, 2012 8:02 PMReply

    I read his comments the other day and I respected that he didn't want to discuss the topic because he wanted to encourage future generations of actors instead of discouraging them with all the talk about glass ceilings and obstacles. I thought it was an honorable remark. I also concur with his stance that talent can take you places and thus he is crediting his ability for all of his opportunities. Now that being said the truth remains is that if he was white he would have gotten more leading roles in mainstream films by this time. Same goes for Chiwetel, Anthony Mackie and others. Maybe all of these guys do need better agents but I'm guessing that's the least of their problems.

  • TAZ | May 30, 2012 7:09 PM

    Thanks Accidentalvisitor.......I read the article and all of these comments and wondered if I read the same comment by Idris or if they all found a fuller context to discuss. I, too, thought point of the comment was to put positive, encouraging words out there for up and coming black actors. In addition, he acknowledges that he hoped he received roles because he is a good actor vice a good black actor.

  • T'Challa | May 29, 2012 6:36 PMReply

    With respect, Black folks in the UK, France, Canada & other countries have a much different historical & cultural experience with "Blackness" as opposed to their American cousins. The "races" tend to mix with each other much more frequently, and it's a very multicultural dynamic (Arabs, Indians, Africans, Eastern Europeans etc) not just "Black Vs White". They don't have quite the same entrenched racial divide that seems to be a large part of American society, so their perspectives are greatly different. I agree with Idris's right to assert his humanity over his skin color..

  • Alex | June 4, 2012 8:41 PM

    @ALM - what are you on about? UK Race riots???? - your comment is an example of misinformation feedng through the media.
    It wasn't a RACE riot. It was a riot escalated from a peaceful protest after the death of a young man at the hands of the police. He just happened to be bi-racial, and if you really did your research you would know that it was a mix of all races taking part in the UK. A lot were opportunistic idiots; some were disenchanted youths - the media whipped up a horrendous frenzy that alluded to gang culture and one historian (David Starkey ) stupidly made the mistake of generalising that all youths had adopted a 'black culture' hence the violence and uprising. What I can only think he meant as 'black culture' is what is perceived and saturated on the screens, in music and from the US. A stereotype that unfortunately some young people try to emulate but can not be blamed on one race.

  • Alex | June 4, 2012 8:29 PM

    Yes this is how interpreted the comment. He wants to start talking about the talent which he is now known for regardless of his race and though the industry is a long way from being idealistically diverse, it's got to start somewhere - in my opinion he is sending out a message to the media that he is a good actor beyond whatever colour he may be and that's how we all need to start thinking. It's got to start somewhere - I'm sick of it too.

  • T'Challa | May 31, 2012 11:45 AM

    @Alm, the UK riots initially began as a protest against police killing a young Black man under questionable circumstances. It evolved into something much larger and it was a multi-racial affair. Plenty of White youths were involved in the rioting alongSIDE the Black and Brown kids. The media of course portrayed it as a Black thing, but video footage of the events tell the truth.. Similar multi-ethnic riots have occured in France in recent years as well. Generally speaking, the racial divide is not as restrictive over there. I'm confident that Idris's comment wouldn't provoke too much controversy in the UK, but in the US he's seen as somehow being a "sell out" or acting "bougie", because he does not wave the flag of "Blackness" at every given opportunity.

  • ALM | May 30, 2012 7:36 PM

    There is probably some truth to your comment, but the UK has proven to be just as racially divided as the U.S. is (remember the recent race riots in the UK)?

  • Moionfire | May 30, 2012 3:16 PM

    Of course they have a different racial perspective. But that doesn't mean that a black actor over there has the same available pool of movie/tv/stage roles.

  • Ashton Morris | May 29, 2012 6:18 PMReply

    What Idris Elba is saying is very valid. As an black actor, it's best to be define by your acting versus your color of your skin. The situations Kerry Washington and Anthony Mackie have found themselves is due to their acting not their skin tone. Kerry Washington's role in Scandal is big because A. She is an African-American woman playing a lead role in a primetime show on ABC and B. because her role isn't defined by her race. Anthony Mackie is one of the MOST talented actors under 40 regardless of race. He is winning in Hollywood because he is challenging himself in film. Gigi mentioned Lance Gross and Michael Ealy. I don't find Lance Gross to be as an incredible talent, to me he is the new version of "Morris Chestnut" which isn't a bad thing. Michael Ealy's case is a lot more complicated because his greatest roles are similar to Elba have been roles that a lot of Black people haven't seen him in due to necessarily not target demographic. The greatest role of Ealy's career has been "Sleeper Cell" and I hope that he gets another role as something to that stature. Think Like a Man is a movie while did well isn't gonna draw in the critically acclaimed roles you might think. The best thing an black actor I believe can do is make smart decisions on role and don't look at your race affecting your roles even if it actually might does.

  • Gigi Young | May 29, 2012 3:03 PMReply

    I think you should ask how much of a factor his British heritage plays in his stance (and how he is perceived in Hollywood). Not only is the British acting scene much, much smaller than Hollywood, but his appearance+British accent places him at a premium in Hollywood. With the former, he can get lead roles African-American actors like Lance Gross or Michael Ealy wouldn't get because in the eyes of most (read=whites) he isn't a "real" American black man (thug, violent, uneducated, crass); in the latter, his American success allows him to return to Britain as a star and then cross back over as his real self (British-accented black man=classy) and gain the respect of the American audiences and critics who coo over any BBC export. Once he opens his mouth, or an article mentions his accent and/or upbringing, he immediately steps from underneath the burden society and Hollywood places on black men who don't make white audiences laugh or dance. Don't get me wrong--Idris is a very good actor, and a hard worker, but he's got to have his head up his arse if he doesn't recognize his privilege.

  • CareyCarey | May 29, 2012 9:32 PM

    See you later, alligator, after a while, crocodile (Nicole). Don't worry about your resentment. You can ease your pain by a using a little soul searching. Find out where you may be wrong or need to change, and then own it. BYE!

  • Nicole | May 29, 2012 8:42 PM

    @CareyCarey: Bye Carey. I see that you like attention more than you like making sense. I'm starting to resent myself for even engaging you. BYE!

  • CareyCarey | May 29, 2012 8:30 PM

    @ Nicole, eyebrow raised backatcha *lol*. Hasn't worked yet?! Oh really? Are you sure about that. So I guess you're saying all conversations related to race should cease and desist? In essence, S&A should shut down. And Viola Davis was wrong for sharing her opinion in an open and honest fashion? And in case you were not around, check out the conversation Steve McQueen had with white filmmakers on this very same subject. Nicole, I am suggesting that all actions start with a thought, which leads to conversation and then, and only then, can action ensue. More importantly, if one always talks in ambiguous terms (i.e. soft- soaping, side-stepping, afraid to affend the opposing crowd, etc) it tends to leave a playing field with no defined direction/problem, nor solutions. In short, although I gave Cherish my Martin Luther King award, I'll repeat it for your consideration. "Many people fear nothing more terrible than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambigious that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody"

  • Nicole | May 29, 2012 8:06 PM

    @CareyCarey: *rolls eyes* Gigi did make some valid points but I still agree with Idris being tired of having to answer the question of being black in Hollywood over and over. What is he supposed to say? And there are plenty of black actors in HWood who speak out on the issue(Viola Davis most recently during Oscar season)but what has changed? Like Tambay always says, "What do we do about it?" Idris could wax ad nauseum about what it's like to be "black in Hollywood" but then what? Will that create more opportunities for black actors? I doubt it. Hasn't worked yet.

  • Hooch | May 29, 2012 8:02 PM

    @GiGi-- Are you really trying to compare Idris Elba to Lance Gross and Michael Ealy? *Comparison FAIL* And what's all this talk about "premium in Hollywood"? He's working, but he's not working as much as some lesser-talented white actors. Let's wait until he has a fully-stocked CV of leading roles before we crown him "Poitier". Don't forget, there was a time when "actors" like DMX were booking roles left and right; but we see how that turned out. And don't get me wrong-- I love Elba's work. But let's not act like it's all good; they still don't treat the man like the A-lister he's supposed to be.

  • CareyCarey | May 29, 2012 7:56 PM

    Well Nicole, I didn't have to but I did. I may not be politically correct (never got me anywhere) but I'll say it loud, I am black and I am proud. And those who try to soft-soap the issue of their blackness in an attempt to appease everyone, will always draw my most pointed commentary. On the other hand you took a different route--> "That's another way of looking at it". Well Nicole, I'd say you could have kept that because you didn't even take a stance. SMH. Heck, even Ashton Morris walked out on a limb with his statement "Anthony Mackie is one of the MOST talented actors under 40 regardless of race". Now that's a comment that makes me shake my head... MOST TALENTED... UNDER 40... REGARDLESS OF RACE!!!??? Not even close.

  • Nicole | May 29, 2012 5:44 PM

    @CareyCarey: SMH. You didn't have to take it there.

  • Skip | May 29, 2012 5:28 PM

    Idris is right. The deliver may have been construed as off kilter but he is right. We need to just do it. The game been f-cked up for a long time that ray charles can see that. We need to just do it for blackness despite the odds. Complaining wont get us any more brownie points considering they are a couple of blacks doing well like Idris and a black president. Lance Gross or Michael Ealy etc need to step there game up or fire their agent. Plain and simple. Folks think once your invited to the table that there will always be a seat waiting their for you and that is not the case. You got put in work and do what you must within reason of course to make sure you always have a seat. Idris is producing as well so why cannot Lance or Ealy. They have some credits to their name as much as Idris and it was not like Idris started off at the top. And stop with this privilege shit. Do you know blacks have it worst in UK than in the states in terms of upward mobility. And what makes you think things would be different here because of his accent. He is never going to marry Kennedy and he is well aware that he is black. Why pander to the weak minded as to give reason to your plight. He represents the black race weather he likes it or not. What he eats don't make you shit. Please..for crying out loud he started out on the chit lin circuit a la Tyler Perry before folks really gave him play. Do you think Tyler cared that he was a Brit. nooooo So what make you think he is receiving special treatment from the whites in hollywood of all places. Get you facts straight and stop hating on the brother. Yes he is a black brit and your perception of that only plays to your insecurities of how you view them.

  • B | May 29, 2012 5:02 PM

    Damn right, Gigi! Excellent points!

  • CareyCarey | May 29, 2012 4:42 PM

    Talk about GIGI! When Idris is asked the question one more time, and he says "The less I talk about being black, the better"... we all know the real truth. Not that most of us didn't already now. Hell, why bite the hand that feeds you... huh Idris? Besides, he wasn't talking that ying-yang when he was hanging on Tyler's jock. That's right, In 2006, Elba signed on as the lead of the 2007 film Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Black Girls, playing Monty, a blue-collar mechanic black American who falls in love with a six-figure black attorney woman (Gabrielle Union) helping him gain custody of his kids, and finds the relationship and his custody hopes threatened by the re-arrival of his ex-wife, another black woman. OH NO, when he was the big black man in the Wire, I bet he loved talking about being a black American in Washington DC. But now that they let his black ass kiss on white women in The Big C and play a nondiscript doorman in Thor, now he done lost his damn mind. Well, maybe he hasn't lost his mind, but it's surely sucking ass and saying the right things to pad his pockets.

  • Nicole | May 29, 2012 4:36 PM

    Gigi, you make great points. That's another way of looking at it.

  • Nadine | May 29, 2012 4:12 PM

    Yes, @Gigi... yes...

  • Anton | May 29, 2012 4:06 PM

    Preach it, Gigi! 100% agree with you!

  • t. | May 29, 2012 3:59 PM

    ditto, gigi!!!!

  • Jug | May 29, 2012 2:49 PMReply

    Every person should read this article and then think of it in terms of "Black" instead of "Height" & you'll get it. Done.

  • Laura | May 31, 2012 6:00 PM

    Yeah, I remember him in "Living in Oblivion". When I first saw him I said he was the first "little person" who is not a punchline. Good for him that he got Games of Throne. Best wishes for his career

  • Nicole | May 29, 2012 2:35 PMReply

    I read this article last night and I get it. I don't blame Idris for tiring of that question. What is he suppose to say that hasn't been said? Everyone knows the deal.

    Now as far as him getting roles solely because he can act...I'm sure that's the case most of the time. But we'll never know. Whenever I see a movie/tv show with an all white cast and ONE black/latino/asian character, I assume they needed to meet a diversity requirement(and vice versa). So they found the best black/latino/asian actor out there and cast them. I don't feel that when watching a show like...Grey's Anatomy.

  • Afrostyling | May 29, 2012 2:31 PMReply

    Y'all dont read the credits? The guy is a producer on Luther. SMH!
    And in the last season of Luther, Nikki Amuka-Bird was added to the cast so i guess there goes your next black face? I'm glad he is refusing to answer these questions about race.

  • Moionfire | May 29, 2012 2:22 PMReply

    I also didn't know that he produced "Luther." Good for him.

  • donnadara | May 29, 2012 2:08 PMReply

    I wasn't aware that Idris Elba had anything to do with producing Luther. I haven't seen that written anywhere else. Anyway, I loved Luther, but I was disappointed that hardly any other black characters were included. What was up with that? I love Idris' career. He has a right to define himself the way he chooses. Too bad Tyler Perry stole his part as Alex Cross. I'm sure that the movie will suck without him.

  • Moionfire | May 29, 2012 2:07 PMReply

    I don't think he implied that he doesn't want to be seen as a black actor. What he meant is that asking the question of "how it feels to be a black actor is redundant". Everyone knows that blacks have less opportunities. Asking the question in every interview doesn't make any sense.

  • Sonia | May 29, 2012 2:06 PMReply

    I think Idris said it right. We all know the deal. Now let's get on doing what we know needs to get done.

  • Jeff O | May 29, 2012 1:55 PMReply

    If there is a career model to emulate and/or watch these days, it would be his. At least for dark skin men that is...

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