Rush Limbaugh Is Furious That a Black Actor Might Be the Next James Bond

If it feels like an unusually long time – days even – since Rush Limbaugh said something stupid, take heart: the right-wing host used a portion of his show yesterday to rail against black actor Idris Elba being cast as James Bond. According to Limbaugh, Elba couldn't possibly be a convincing Bond because the character "was white and Scottish, period.” With his statement, Limbaugh joins fellow conservative Megan Kelly in tacitly admitting that he does not understand how fictional characters work.


Limbaugh, who has been curiously silent about the recent dust-up over white actors being cast as Egyptians in the film Exodus, was reacting to a leaked email from Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal. In the letter, Pascal wrote to another studio head, “Idris should be the next bond.”

Even after recognizing that Bond is a creation of author Ian Fleming -- meaning that agent 007 is a pretend person who never actually lived -- Limbaugh complained about the casting of a black actor in the role of the superspy because “that’s not who James Bond is.” He goes on from there:

"I know it’s racist to probably even point this out, but the franchise needs to get with it. The franchise needs to get hip. It needs to get with the 21st century! That’s right -- we had 50 years of white Bonds because Bond was white! He was never black. Ian Fleming never created a black Brit to play James Bond. The character was always white. He was always Scottish."

Oddly, Limbaugh has previously been mum about the fact that not a single Bond has been Scottish since Sean Connery, whose last film in the franchise was more than three decades ago. Current Bond Daniel Craig, like Idris Elba, is English. Other Bonds have been Irish, Welsh and Australian. 

In perhaps the most damning evidence of the character’s essential whiteness, Limbaugh pointed out that “[h]e always drank vodka, shaken not stirred.”

He might have rested his case there, but in an ill-conceived effort to drive home his point, Limbaugh conceded that he might be okay with Bond, a fictional character, being played by a black actor if a series of real life historical and contemporary black figures were depicted by white actors.

How about, in the movie about the Obamas…George Clooney play Obama and Kate Hudson play Michelle Obama?

Kelsey Grammer as Nelson Mandela. How about that?

How about Rob Reiner to play the early Al Sharpton?

Limbaugh went on to suggest that Scarlett Johansson should depict Condoleeza Rice, and a long-dead (and presumably reanimated) George C. Scott should play Colin Powell.

In one final "you-kids-get-off-my-lawn" bit, Limbaugh mentioned that he “know[s] they’re doing it” (meaning this whole black actors thing) with “Annie” and “Captain America,” as well as some ‘90s movie starring the late Whitney Houston. To hear to the audio of Limbaugh, listen below:

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