Idris Elba has given his two cents on the long-lasting debate about British actors allegedly taking roles from Black American actors.
Ever since Samuel L. Jackson called out fellow actor Daniel Kaluuya’s casting in the 2017 thriller Get Out, the debate over Black British actors taking roles away from American actors has been taking pop culture by storm.
While many actors have spoken on this topic in the past, Elba recently shared his thoughts on this topic.
Idris Elba calls this argument "unintelligent"
In light of BAFTA-winning actor Naomi Ackie being cast as the legendary Whitney Houston in the upcoming biopic I Wanna Dance Somebody, Elba recently did an interview with The Shop (as reported by The Root), where he slammed claims that Black British actors take roles away from American actors.
“You know what I noticed? You said Black women in America versus an English woman,” Elba said. “Like being English makes you less Black? To me, that defines how unintelligent the argument is. No disrespect to anyone who has that feeling, it is what it is.”
According to the actor, where you come from shouldn't define the roles you receive.
“The fact is: we’re all Black. You get a Scottish actor playing an Irish character or an English actor — you don’t hear about a debate,” Elba continued. “But amongst ourselves we want to point fingers because we come from a conditioning that makes people just make sure ‘where’re you from?’ and ‘are you authentic from where you’re from? How Black are you?’ And it comes down to the caste system and it’s annoying to me, really annoying.”
“My grandfather fought the second World War for this country, the U.S. [He] comes from Kansas City,” the 'Beast' actor continued.
“I come to this country and someone says to me ‘you ain’t American’ and I’m like, ‘huh?’ How dare you. It’s acting. Cultural appropriation, no. That’s definitely something we should pay attention to. But in the acting profession, one should be allowed to play.”