By Carly Levy Cinemablend
The British actor is seemingly stating that he doesn’t deny his race as a Black man, but just doesn’t want his career to be defined by it. But if others choose go the opposite route, that’s their choice. The reactions on Twitter towards the Beasts of No Nation actor’s recent comments have been mixed. Some have expressed “disgust” in feeling Elba is not using his platform to speak up for his race and how he’s “dissociating” from his Blackness. Others on the social media site see that while the Luther actor clearly recognizes himself as a proud Black man, he just wants his profession to shine without his race being the center of everything.
He said: “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?“
When Esquire UK interviewed Idris Elbra, he was asked about his childhood in the predominantly white yet ethnically diverse London borough of Hackney. But while answering this question, he stopped himself to ask why people find his race “fascinating.” This high-grossing actor elaborated in the interview on the importance of not allowing a person’s skin color to define everything.
“If we spent half the time not talking about the differences but the similarities between us, the entire planet would have a shift in the way we deal with each other. 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.”