White and Scottish, period

MediaMatters tells us that Rush Limbaugh has been ranting about the idea of Idris Elba playing James Bond.

Limbaugh on Idris Elba: “James Bond was white and Scottish, period.”

Huh. Jesus was Mediterranean and Palestinian, too; I wonder if Rush Limbaugh ranted when Mel Gibson played the part.

Anyway…if I had any interest in James Bond I think I’d rather watch the guy on the left playing him than the shouty fella.



  1. says

    Caviezel is white and Irish/Slovakian, so it’s still OK, and Limbaugh isn’t really being hypocritical: White Europeans for every role!

  2. peterh says

    “… when Mel Gibson played the part.”

    How’s ’bout back a few years when Max Von Sydow played the part?

  3. says

    The Daniel Craig version almost made James Bond a character worth watching. Idris Elba might be able to redeem him entirely.

    I think about the only thing I wouldn’t watch Idris Elba perform is him standing in place reading aloud from the Twilight series. I don’t think even an actor of his caliber could make that shit any good.

  4. Akira MacKenzie says

    Or Jeffery Hunter…

    …Or Robert Powell…

    … or Willem Dafoe (OK, the Jesus creeps complained about the depiction, but not the ethnicity of the guy playing)…

  5. Ysidro says

    So, Sean Connery or nothing? Because Bond wasn’t Scottish at all until Dr. No put a scotsman in the role. Afterwards, when Fleming wrote “You Only Live Twice”, an obituary listed Bond’s father as Scottish (and a Swiss mother, interestingly enough.) as a wink towards Connery.

    So, a character is Scottish only by way of one actor (and not even the 1st actor to play the role. Barry Nelson played an American Jimmy Bond in an episode of the tv show “Climax!” tht was based on Casino Royale.)

    But let’s look at the other film actors. Lazenby is Australian, Moore is English, Dalton is Welsh, Brosnan is Irish, and Craig is English.

    Other people bitching about Craig having blond hair (because no one ever heard of hair dye before), I’ve heard little complaint about color before….

    Oh, wait.

    But now I want to see Idris Elba in the starring role of “Blowhard: the Rush Limbaugh Story”.

  6. sonofrojblake says

    Personally I have but one objection to Idris Elba, who, this factor aside, would make a fucking awesome Bond. He’s a bit old. Roger Moore was comically ancient in the role, but post-Bourne, the supposedly eternally 35 year old Bond can’t really afford to look much more than that. Elba’s 42 and looks it.

  7. says

    A black Bond can’t possibly be more jarring than what Robert Downey did with Sherlock Holmes. (To say nothing of the bizarre story-lines Benedict Cumberbatch gets saddled with).

  8. chigau (違う) says

    When I looked at the “blackface” article in Wikipedia, I learned that African-American vaudeville performers wore blackface.

  9. says

    Thanks to the last sentence of the OP, I keep getting these weird and jarring images of Limbaugh on a Bond poster, trying to do the gun-and-tux look, seeing Limbaugh rappelling down a cliff…

    It’s disturbing, but it’s becoming like ‘don’t think of a purple cow’, here…

    I was briefly puzzled that it was quite so unpleasant to picture, as I really didn’t think I had much of an attachment to Bond films that I’d much give a damn who they put in the role. And then realized oh, right, I pretty much find thinking of Limbaugh in any context whatsoever distasteful.

    I’m not so much imagining his actual performance beyond such flashes. But I suppose, after we’ve had a few suave, debonair Bonds, a few more gritty, intense Bonds, this would be rambling, ranting, pathetically, pathologically dishonest Bond…

    No title has yet occurred to me.

  10. peterh says

    “Nobody complained about Olivier playing Othello.”

    I did and still do. I have it on DVD and find it almost unwatchable – Olivier chews the scenery so’s one would think him a termite. Ethnicity has noting to do with this – the acting is simply terrible.

  11. says

    His Shylock, on the other hand, a few years later, was pretty good. That one I saw. (I tried to get tix to Othello and it was sold out for the whole run.)

    And he was extraordinary in Long Day’s Journey Into Night. I went to that one a second time because it was that good.

  12. luzclara says

    Does Rush grasp that James Bond is AN IMAGINARY CHARACTER??? What a dope. Mr. Idris Elba can accept any role he wants to. I’ll probably watch, too b/c he is so fabulous in the roles I’ve already seen.

    Mr. L on the other hand is way past his pull date. Time for the compost bin for him.

  13. shadow says


    Because he’s incapable of portraying a human? I think the lack of empathy is what prevents a believable human experience from him.

  14. Sili says

    I have no clue who Elba is (“Able were I …”), but then again I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen Craig until this Christmas, which for some reason is the time telly has set off for Bond films.

  15. Al Dente says

    Sili @24

    I have no clue who Elba is (“Able were I …”)

    Elba is an island in the Mediterranean between Italy and Corsica. The first time Napoleon Bonaparte was forced to abdicate he was exiled to Elba (the “Able was I ere I saw Elba” palindrome refers to this). After 10 months of exile, he returned to France for the 100 Days. After being defeated at Waterloo, Napoleon was exiled to the remote island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic, where he stayed until he died.

  16. Pieter B, FCD says

    Sorry, travel and medical issues have kept me busy the last few days. I don’t believe anyone objected to Olivier playing Othello on ethnic grounds. The performance may have been dismal, but still packed ’em in.

    However, when the first black actor played Othello on the London stage (American Ira Aldridge in 1826), there was outrage that a black man was “pawing about” a white actress. A later run with Aldridge was more or less run out of London to the provinces. When Paul Robeson played the role a century later, the racism of the critics was a bit more subtle. A bit, but not much.

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