This isn’t really possible but he believes saying that he is just an actor not a Black actor is effective. I saw many posts about this when the interview first dropped and it made me think about how Black Americans are considered less-than even to other Black people. Idris’ first career break was playing a Black American and similar roles shortly after. He boasted his American accent and his place in the Black American community.
After awhile Idris began being seen in less and less roles with an American accent. He distanced himself from roles where he was not the sole Black actor. He hoped to solidify his belief that he could be seen as anything but a Black actor.
Ekow Sanni-Thomas (He/Him), the CEO of Inside Voices, was a guest on my show and was the first to make me aware of Isabel Wilkerson’s theory that some Black immigrants try desperately to keep their original accents after moving to America because they know it distances them from Black Americans. I see this in Idris.
Anti-Blackness in any form is harmful but the blow is extra hard when it comes from other Black people. His beliefs denote that Blackness is a set of characteristics that are disposable and should be if one hopes to reach a certain level of “success”. I truly don’t care if he ever gets his wake up call but I do wish he would keep his beliefs to himself.
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