WASHINGTON: Actor Idris Elba ignited a firestorm on social media in February after stating that he stopped calling himself a “Black actor” because it created limitations for his career.
According to Variety, an American media company, although actors such as John Boyega came to his defense and argued that critics weren’t paying attention to his message about damning Hollywood stereotyping, Elba was immediately accused of renouncing his Blackness.
“I feel as I get older – I’m 50 now – we all have fears of saying too much, oversharing and whatnot… And in this day and age, it’s really difficult to have an opinion if you’re in the public eye because it gets overly scrutinized, taken out of context, thrown into some sort of bullshit, zeitgeisty social media argument,” Elba now told The Guardian in a new interview, reported Variety.
Elba cited the uproar over his “Black actor” remark as evidence that social media is a “conflict incubator,” adding, “Me saying I don’t like to call myself a Black actor is my prerogative. That’s me, not you. So for you to turn around and say to me, 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,” reported Variety.
In his earlier interview, “Elba noted that “as humans, we are obsessed with race and that obsession can really hinder people’s aspirations, hinder people’s growth. 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.”
“I stopped describing myself as a Black actor when I realized 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,” the actor said, as per Variety. (ANI)