(LONDON) — Idris Elba is catching heat for some recent comments he made.
In an interview with TimesOut London, Elba was asked to comment on the controversy surrounding Jack Whitehall being cast as Disney’s first openly gay character in the upcoming movie Jungle Cruise.
After learning of the casting news, many felt that an LBGT actor should have been cast in the role instead of Whitehall, who is straight. However, Elba begged to differ.
“Artistic license is artistic license,” Elba told the magazine. “If an actor has the attributes to do something, they should be able to do it. They’re acting. You don’t necessarily have to be gay to play a gay character. Though you do have to be Black to play a Black character.”
After his comments went viral, some fans took Elba to task.
“Did I miss the part of this story where Idris Elba came out as gay and can therefore speak to experience on this and how gay actors repeatedly get passed over for roles, or…?” asked on fan.
“Here’s the thing about Idris Elba saying Whitehall as a landmark gay doesn’t matter,” shared another. “If Bond is played by a black actor a door opens, which we imagine he approves of. While saying cast the best guy cos ‘It’s acting,’ he fails to see the commitment to act for change is the same.”
“Although I do agree that straight actors should be able to play LGB (not the T) characters, I don’t think we need straight actors to tell us it’s okay for them to play those roles,” another explained.
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