By Corey Atad.

Idris Elba doesn’t want to be pigeonholed has just a Brit.

Sitting down for an interview on “The Shop”, the “Beast” actor responded to a common criticism about Black American roles being taken by British actors.

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The conversation when in that direction when actress Naomie Jackie’s casting as Whitney Houston in the upcoming biopic “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” came up.

“You know what I noticed? You said Black women in America versus an English woman,” Elba said to host Maverick Carter, who had said that some Black women in America might not be happy with a British actress playing the iconic American singer. “Like being English makes you less Black? To me, that defines how unintelligent the argument is. No disrespect to anyone who has that feeling, it is what it is.”

“The fact is: we’re all Black,” Elba continued. “You get a Scottish actor playing an Irish character or an English actor — you don’t hear about a debate. But amongst ourselves we want to point fingers because we come from a conditioning that makes people just make sure ‘where’re you from?’ and ‘are you authentic from where you’re from? How Black are you?’ And it comes down to the caste system and it’s annoying to me, really annoying.”

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“My grandfather fought the second World War for this country, the U.S. [He] comes from Kansas City,” he concluded. “I come to this country and someone says to me ‘you ain’t American’ and I’m like, ‘huh?’ How dare you. It’s acting. Cultural appropriation, no. That’s definitely something we should pay attention to. But in the acting profession, one should be allowed to play.”


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Ellen Bullock