In an interview with the Daily Mail, Anthony Horowitz, the novelist most recently selected to add a book to the James Bond canon, spoke about why he thinks Idris Elba wouldn’t accurately inhabit the character. “It’s not a color issue,” he asserted immediately. Hmm—sounds like his story probably checks out, let’s see.

Horowitz—author of the successful YA Alex Rider series, creator of BBC One’s failed series Crime Traveller, and screenwriter behind 2003’s widely panned thriller The Gathering—starts off thus: “Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better.”

Idris Elba, if chosen to succeed current Bond actor Daniel Craig, would be the eighth performer to play James Bond in an official movie. Anthony Horowitz, when he publishes his first Bond novel (Trigger Mortis), which he has not yet published, will become the eleventh author to play The Person Who Writes James Bond Books, a role that originated with Ian Fleming and which was briefly occupied by Kingsley Amis.

Is Horowitz suited for the role? Let’s hear more of what he says about Idris Elba:

“For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a colour issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”

Damn. Is it a question of being racist? No. Just seems racist.

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