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Idris Elba reveals he no longer describes himself as a ‘Black actor’

New York premiere of 'Beast'
Idris Elba

Idris Elba stopped describing himself as a “Black actor” because it limited his opportunities.

In a recent interview with Esquire UK, the Luther actor explained that the obsession with race can hinder people’s aspirations and growth.

“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. As humans, we are obsessed with race. And that obsession can really hinder people’s aspirations, hinder people’s growth,” he explained.

“Racism should be a topic for discussion, sure. Racism is very real. 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 realised 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.”

The 50-year-old Brit also noted that he doesn’t like being asked what it’s like to be “the first Black” to achieve a particular milestone.

“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,” he stated.

Idris is set to reprise his role as Detective John Luther in the upcoming movie Luther: The Fallen Sun, which will be released on Netflix on 10 March.

– Cover Media