Idris Elba got the internet a little heated after he criticized the pushback against straight actors in gay roles.
After it was announced that British comedian Jack Whitehall’s character in the upcoming Disney film Jungle Cruise was gay, many people on social media expressed offense to the idea. That said, there’s been an equal amount of people expressing approval of straight actors playing gay roles. Now, Idris Elba is jumping into the fray.
While talking to TimesOut London and Attitude Magazine, Elba shared the argument that straight actors should be given the chance to portray gay roles.
“Artistic license is artistic license. If an actor has the attributes to do something, they should be able to do it,” Elba told TimeOut London via Attitude magazine. “They’re acting. You don’t necessarily have to be gay to play a gay character. Though you do have to be black to play a black character.”
Elba then related the situation to his ongoing battle for the role of James Bond.
“It’s like the debate about James Bond. It’s nonsense. It’s a fictional character. I’ve got mad respect for how Ian Fleming described him,” Elba explained. “He said he was a white guy, looked like this … That’s how it was written. But then there’s interpretation.
“If we were always bound by the confines that something has to be [one way], people would never have expanded on things and come up with some of the most genius ideas.”
Of course after hearing about his comments, there were several tweets online that didn’t agree.
“Did I miss the part of this story where Idris Elba came out as gay and can therefore speak to experience on this and how gay actors repeatedly get passed over for roles, or…?” wrote one.
“Although I do agree that straight actors should be able to play LGB (not the T) characters, I don’t think we need straight actors to tell us it’s okay for them to play those roles," said another.
What about you? Do you agree with Idris Elba’s argument? Or, do you think he should mind his business?
h/t: Attitude Magazine