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Idris Elba Explains Why He No Longer Refers To Himself As A Black Actor

Idris Elba Explains Why He No Longer Refers To Himself As A Black Actor

Idris Elba says he had a realization about referring to himself as a Black actor.

The 50-year-old actor has done a lot of reflection on race and feels that focusing too much on race is not good for society.

“If we spent half the time not talking about the differences but the similarities between us, the entire planet would have a shift in the way we deal with each other,” Idris said in a new interview.

Keep reading to find out more…

“As humans, we are obsessed with race. And that obsession can really hinder people’s aspirations, hinder people’s growth,” Idris told Esquire UK.

Idris made clear that “racism is very real,” but qualified the statement by adding, “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,” Idris said.

He also explained that it was not his intention to be a pioneer to break barriers as a Black actor in the entertainment industry. “I did it because I thought that’s a great profession and I could do a good job at it,” Idris said. “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.”

Idris stars in Luther: The Fallen Sun, which will hit Netflix on March 10th, 2023 after debuting in select theaters on February 24th, 2023.

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