Idris Elba Clarifies Stance On Not Describing Himself As A “Black Actor” – Deadline

Idris Elba has followed up with a tweet that clarifies why he has chosen not to refer to himself as a “Black actor.”

“There isn’t a soul on this earth that can question whether I consider myself a BLACK MAN or not,” the Suicide Squad actor tweeted. “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 Perogative. Ah lie?”

Elba recently had people perplexed after an interview with Esquire UK where he said, ” I stopped describing myself as a Black actor when I realised 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.”

In the same interview, the Luther: The Fallen Sun star said that he didn’t become an actor “because I didn’t see Black people doing it” but “because I thought that’s a great profession and I could do a good job at it.”

He continued, “As you get up the ladder, you get asked what it’s like to be the first Black to do this or that. Well, it’s the same as it would be if I were white. It’s the first time for me. I don’t want to be the first Black. I’m the first Idris.”

It’s clear to Elba that he might be the first person to look like him to achieve something and add, “That’s good, to leave as part of my legacy. So that other people, Black kids, but also white kids growing up in the circumstances I grew up in, are able to see there was a kid who came from Canning Town who ended up doing what I do. It can be done.”

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