Idris Elba is facing heavy criticism online after rejecting the “black actor” label in a recent Esquire UK interview. Elba said that he did not become an actor for the sake of representation. His primary objective was to engage in something that looked like a great profession that he could be good at. He does not want to be seen as the first “black” to do something, rather he wants to be seen as the first Idris. Idris also believes the term “black actor” is restrictive, career-wise.
His comments, of course, created quite a controversy from people all across the board, celebrities and non-celebrities alike. The main pushback against Elba was that somehow he was rejecting his “blackness” by refusing to be called a black actor. Elba responded on Twitter by issuing a clear separation between who he is as a black man and what his actual job title is.
Idris Elba Refuses ‘Black Actor’ Label: It Put Me in a Box – Variety
Idris Elba on the Future of Luther & the Private Life of a Public Figure
Idris Elba laments human ‘obsession’ with race, says he no longer identifies himself as a ‘Black actor’
Morgan Freeman on Black History Month – YouTube
Idris Elba on Twitter: “There isn’t a soul on this earth that can question whether I consider myself a BLACK MAN or not. 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?” / Twitter