Idris Elba Is Under Fire For Not Calling Himself A Black Actor

Elba says the whole thing is "stupid"
Shane Anthony Sinclair via Getty Images

Actor Idris Elba is speaking out as he thinks it’s “stupid” that he is facing backlash after saying that he wants to stop being labelled as a “Black actor.”

Last month, the topic of race came up in an interview when promoting his new Luther movie.

“As humans, we are obsessed with race, and that obsession can really hinder people’s aspirations, hinder people’s growth,” he said.

“Racism should be a topic for discussion, sure. Racism is very real. But from my perspective, it’s only as powerful as you allow it to be,” the actor told Esquire.

He continued: “I didn’t become an actor because I didn’t see Black people doing it and I wanted to change that. I did it because I thought that’s a great profession and I could do a good job at it.

“I stopped describing myself as a Black actor when I realised it put me in a box. We’ve got to grow. We’ve got to. Our skin is no more than that: it’s just skin. Rant over.”

Those comments were not received well online.

Idris, then told The Guardian that “me saying I don’t like to call myself a Black actor is my prerogative. That’s me, not you.”

He added: “So for you to turn around and say to me that I’m ‘denying my Blackness’. On what grounds? Did you hear that? Where am I denying it? And what for? It’s just stupid. Whatever.”