British actor Idris Elba is facing backlash from competitors at the Wake-Olympics after an Esquire UK interview where he describes himself as an actor, not a “black actor”.
In an Esquire interview, The Luther The actor explains, “As human beings, 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, for sure. Racism is very real. But from my point of view, it’s only as powerful as you allow it to be,” he continued. “I stopped describing myself as a black actor when I realized that I was being put in a box. We have to grow up. We have to. Our skin is not more than that: it is just skin. Chat.”
Cue the outrage of those who want to see everything through a racially motivated lens.
After the backlash, speaking to The Guardian, she shared that social media is a “conflict incubator” and that having opinions in today’s social media environment is challenging. “In this day and age, it’s really hard to have an opinion if you’re in the public eye because it’s going to be over-scrutinized, taken out of context, thrown into some kind of bullshit, zeitgeist social media argument.”
“It’s my right to say I don’t like being called a black actor. That’s me, not you. So you turn around and tell me, I’m denying my blackness. On what basis? Hear that? Where am I denying it? And for what? It’s just stupid. Something. “
Alba took to Twitter to address the rousing crowd.
There is not a soul on this earth that questions whether I consider myself a black man or not. Being an ‘actor’ is a profession, like an ‘architect’, not defined by race. However, if you define your work by your race, that is your perogative. Ah lie?
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) February 11, 2023