John Boyega weighs in on Idris Elba refusing to call himself ‘Black Actor’

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WASHINGTON: British actor Idris Elba recently sparked a social media uproar when he admitted to having stopped referring to himself as a “Black actor” since doing so places restrictions on his career.

According to Variety, an American media company, he made the statement to Esquire UK and while some accused Elba of renouncing his Blackness, others came to the ‘Luther’ actor’s defence and agreed regarding Hollywood’s penchant to put labels on and stereotype Black actors.

John Boyega of ‘Star Wars’ fame recently took to Twitter to tell his followers that Elba’s detractors were having the wrong takeaway from his comment.

“I think we should fixate on who is typecasting and putting actors in boxes because of this. Not on making weird adjustments for them. We continuously focus on what we have to do so they don’t do this or that. Very worrying. We BLACK and that’s that,” Boyega wrote, reported Variety.

Elba himself slammed his critics on Twitter, writing, “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 Prerogative. Ah lie?”

For Boyega, the big takeaway from Elba’s comment is that more people should be questioning the Hollywood typecasting that exists and puts Black actors into boxes.

In his original 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)

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