This is the type of crap I absolutely hate, and Roger Moore should know better. What I am referring to is an interview he did with Paris Match when he said that Idris Elba wasn’t “English-English” enough to play James Bond.
And he could be saying a lot of things–though we all know what he means, don’t we?
So let’s call a spade, a spade (so to speak): The only “problem” that he could possibly find with Elba is that he’s black, and since James Bond has traditionally been played by white actors, it stands to reason (by his logic) that only white actors could play the character.
Which is utter nonsense because there’s nothing about Bond that speaks to his skin color (that being said, while I haven’t read any of Ian Fleming’s books, I am reasonably comfortable in assuming that the Bond he envisioned was white) it needs to be kept in mind that the first Bond novel, Casino Royale, was written in 1952 and was so successful that three print runs were needed to cope with the demand.
Then there’s the fact that Fleming was born in 1908, which makes me relatively confident that there weren’t too many movies (or books or anything mainstream) with black people as main characters.
Moore eventually backpedaled, though he originally said that a black Bond was “unrealistic.”
And maybe in 1973 (when Roger Moore was introduced as Bond in Diamonds Are Forever) that was the case, but I’d like to think that we’re grown a bit since then.
Unless you’re the governor of Indiana, then all bets are off.