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Idris Elba is addressing social media debate surrounding the Luther: The Fallen Sun star recently saying he no longer describes himself as a Black actor because he found he was put “in a box.”
The actor took to Twitter on Saturday to clarify his recent viral remarks to Esquire magazine. In his tweet, Elba emphasized that he does indeed consider himself a Black man, but that he doesn’t want to be “defined by race” when it comes to his performing career.
“There isn’t a soul on this earth that can question whether I consider myself a BLACK MAN or not,” Elba wrote. “Being an ‘actor’ is a profession, like being an ‘architect’ ,they are not defined by race. However, If YOU define your work by your race, that is your Perogative. Ah lie?”
The London-born actor spoke at length about racism as it pertained to Hollywood in an interview with Esquire that published online Wednesday. In the piece, he acknowledged that he considers himself a “member of the Black community” but also said he feels it’s more important for people to focus on their similarities than their differences.
“Racism is very real,” he said at the time. “But from my perspective, it’s only as powerful as you allow it to be. I stopped describing myself as a Black actor when I realized it put me in a box. We’ve got to grow. We’ve got to. Our skin is no more than that: It’s just skin. Rant over.”
Elba, 50, is known for such film credits as Obsessed, Pacific Rim, Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw, The Suicide Squad and his role as Heimdall in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His television work includes The Wire, The Office and Luther.
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