Idris Elba Clarifies Why He No Longer Calls Himself a Black Actor

Idris Elba felt the need to clarify a recent quote he shared with Esquire where he talked about no longer wanting to identify himself as a Black actor. 

In the interview, the London-born star, 50, revealed how he thought the Black actor label put him in a ‘box’, and that an ‘obsession’ with race can hinder aspirations and growth. 

Some three days after the interview dropped, the Luther star decided to take to Twitter and elaborate on his quote, all while making sure everyone knowns he’s a proud Black man.

‘There isn’t a soul on this earth that can question whether I consider myself a BLACK MAN or not,’ he began in the tweet, adding, ‘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?’

In that sit down with Esquire, the Golden Globe winning actor addressed racism in Hollywood and beyond, and the need we all have to improve as humans, no matter the color of your skin.

‘Racism is very real. But from my perspective, it’s only as powerful as you allow it to be,’ the father of two shared.

‘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,’ he explained.

The star continued that while he is a member of the Black community, he doesn’t put the emphasis on this when it comes to his career. Elba also explained that his choice to be an actor wasn’t because the lack of diversity in the profession, but because it was a career he felt he would thrive in.

‘As you get up the ladder, you get asked what it’s like to be the first Black to do this or that. Well, it’s the same as it would be if I were white. It’s the first time for me. I don’t want to be the first Black. I’m the first Idris,’ The Wire alum added.

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