Anthony Horowitz, the author of the new James Bond novel, has apologised for saying that Idris Elba is “too street” to play 007.
The writer made the comments amid rumours that Elba is to replace current Bond actor Daniel Craig in the long-running movie series, and become the first black person to take on the iconic lead role.
Horowitz came under fire after he told the Daily Mail that the while the Wire actor is “terrific”, he could “think of other black actors who would do it better."
“It's not a color issue [...] Is it a question of being suave? Yeah,” he said.
American author Ta-Nehisi Coates was among those to criticise Horowitz, by tweeting in a series of messages which read: "Just be honest and say ‘James Bond’s being white is important to me’ and be done with it [...] Elba is ‘too street’ in much the same way that Obama was ‘too foreign,’ and King was ‘too communist.'"
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Horowitz has since apologised, and admitted he had chosen his words “clumsily”.
Explaining that he had been thinking of Elba's gritty detective role in the BBC crime drama Luther during the interview, he said in a tweet on Tuesday: "In the article I expressed the opinion that to my mind Adrian Lester would be a better choice but I'm a writer not a casting director so what do I know?"
I'm really sorry my comments about Idris Elba have caused offence [full statement attached] pic.twitter.com/UD6ouA45Uv— Anthony Horowitz (@AnthonyHorowitz) September 1, 2015
Horowitz recently penned a continuation of the James Bond series of novels entitled Trigger Mortis, after he was chosen by the estate of late author Ian Flemming.
Additional reporting by APReuse content