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Idris Elba
Idrissa Akuna Elba OBE (born 6 September 1972) is an English actor, writer, producer, rapper, singer, songwriter and DJ. He is known for roles including Stringer Bell in the HBO series The Wire, DCI John Luther in the BBC One series Luther, and Nelson Mandela in the biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013). He has been nominated four times for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film, winning one, and was nominated five times for a Primetime Emmy Award.
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Idris Elba Says Backlash Over Not Calling Himself a ‘Black Actor’ Is ‘Stupid’: ‘Where Am I Denying My Blackness?’

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Zack Sharf Digital News Director Idris Elba ignited a firestorm on social media in February after he told Esquire UK that he stopped calling himself a “Black actor” because it created limitations for his career.

The “Luther” actor was immediately accused of renouncing his Blackness, although actors such as John Boyega came to his defense and argued that critics weren’t paying attention to his message about damning Hollywood stereotyping. “I feel as I get older – I’m 50 now – we all have fears of saying too much, oversharing and whatno,” Elba now told The Guardian in a new interview. “And in this day and age, it’s really difficult to have an opinion if you’re in the public eye because it gets overly scrutinized, taken out of context, thrown into some sort of bullshit, zeitgeisty social media argument.” Elba pointed to the controversy around his “Black actor” comment as proof that social media is a “conflict incubator,” adding, “Me saying I don’t like to call myself a Black actor is my prerogative.

That’s me, not you. So for you to turn around and say to me, I’m ‘denying my Blackness’. On what grounds? Did you hear that?

Where am I denying it? And what for? It’s just stupid. Whatever.” In his Esquire UK interview, Elba noted that “as humans, we are obsessed with race and that obsession can really hinder people’s aspirations, hinder people’s growth.

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