Former Bond Villain Says 007 "Cannot Be Black"
Yaphet Kotto was the first African American to play a major Bond baddie.
With Idris Elba admitting earlier this week that the ongoing speculation he is to become the first black 007 has killed off his chances, a former Bond baddie has thrown his (possibly poison-tipped) hat into the fray.
Yaphet Kotto, aka Dr Kananga/Mr Big in 1973’s Live and Let Die and the first African American to play a major Bond villain, has said Elba can’t possibly step into Daniel Craig’s boots.
"He cannot be black. Political correctness be damned," the 75-year-old told U.K. magazine The Big Issue.
"James Bond was established by Ian Fleming as a white character, played by white actors. Play 003 or 006, but you cannot be 007. A lot of people say we should be allowed to play everything. Don’t be ridiculous," he added, suggesting that if he ever asked to play JFK he should be "laughed out of the room."
"Black men should stop trying to play roles created by whites. These roles are not written for black men."
The comments came in response to the furor over Roger Moore’s recent claims that 007 should be "English-English." The former Bond later denied that his comments were racist or referred to London-born Elba, claiming that his quotes from a French magazine were "lost in translation" by the Daily Mail.