What Too Street Really Means


The successor of the James Bond series, Anthony Horowitz announced that he felt Idris Elba was too “street” to play James Bond. Horowitz even presented another Black actor who he felt was a little less street. After learning that Idris was too “street”, I was left wondering what in the world it meant for someone to be too “street”. Street has never been the adjective that I’ve used to describe Idris Elba. Too handsome—yes. Too talented—of course. Too street—nope. My first introduction to Idris Elba was when he played the prick boss in the U. S version of The Office.

In the quest to discover whether Idris was too “street”, I went into Idris’ filmography. Perhaps in the all the films and television shows that he’s been in, Idris has only played Street Guy Number 1. So far in his career, he’s played a general, Nelson Mandela, a detective, a dedicated husband, a hustler, and he’s the voice of a doctor in the sequel to Finding Nemo.

Idris has also played a con man, a psychotic home intruder, and a tormented DCI. Idris has been acting since 1994. He’s a talented chameleon with the ability to transform into any person that the movie or television show demands. I’m pretty sure that Idris would be able to play Bond. Let’s not forget that the original Bond wasn’t the best character: he was an alcoholic who slapped women.

I suppose in a lot of his movies and television shows Idris has walked on several streets. Maybe that has qualified him as being too “street”. When you start to read between the lines of Horowitz’s statement, which he has since apologized for, you realize that too “street” is an outdated code for Idris’ blackness.  Horowitz has a certain image that he believes Bond should have. It’s fine to believe there’s someone else better suited for the role; however, using the adjective of too “street” is insulting to Idris and his capabilities as an actor.

What do you think is Idris too street or is he the perfect Bond of your dreams?


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