Rush Limbaugh took to his radio show on Monday to once again address the controversy surrounding his statement that actor Idris Elba would not be the best pick for the new James Bond.
“Is it racist to suggest that James Bond is a white character created by Ian Fleming?” said Limbaugh on The Rush Limbaugh Show. “It’s not racist.”
Earlier this month, Limbaugh commented on a leaked Sony email where Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal reportedly wrote that it would be great for Elba to inherit the role after Daniel Craig. Limbaugh went on to state that Pascal was considering Elba only to make peace with Al Sharpton after previously leaked emails revealed Pascal and director Scott Rudin joking about African-American films that Obama may like.
“There’s no racism intended here,” added Limbaugh. “I have no bias whatsoever against Idris Elba. I think he’s a great actor. It isn’t even about him. This is about this girl Amy Pascal who thinks he would be a great James Bond and we know why she says. She’s trying to buy off Al Sharpton. She’s trying to buy off any of the other hustlers because she’s in trouble.”
Limbaugh also restated his comment that if a white actor portrayed an African-American it would not be accepted the same way.
“I simply asked an associated question,” said Limbaugh. “Would it be accepted if the movie of the life and times of Barack Obama was cast? Pick any white actor. … Pick [George] Clooney. Clooney would be honored by the way to do it. Do you think that the Al Sharptons of the world would sit idly by and applaud it? We know that it wouldn’t be acceptable.”
The possibility of Elba becoming the next Bond would not be the first time a white actor and an actor of color played the same leading role. In the recent remake of Annie, Quvenzhane Wallis played the leading role and Jamie Foxx played the modernized “Daddy Warbucks,” Will Stacks.
“I know there is a black version of Annie, Little Orphan Annie and all that, but I’m merely attesting to the fact that James Bond is a real character created by a real guy and modeled by the way after somebody named James Bond, if you must know the truth is a friend of Ian Fleming,” said Limbaugh.
Limbaugh played a montage of clips from reporters who he felt suggested that his initial comments about Elba were racial. He targeted the media as being the reason his previous statement was taken out of context.
“They are the last thing that you would associate with being reporters. They’re not curious, they are not interested in the truth. They are the ones looking for easy controversy by invoking me. They are the lazy ones. They are the ones trying to get noticed.”
“My audience is tired of me being called a racist. No I’m not one and they hate it,” Limbaugh said.