Idris Elba Responds To Criticism After Not Calling Himself A 'Black Actor'

Idris Elba is tired of the obsession with race.

In February, Idris Elba sparked heavy criticism online after he told Esquire U.K. that he had stopped describing himself as a "black actor" because of the limitations he thought it placed on his career. Now, he's addressing that backlash.

In a new interview with The Guardian, the 50-year-old actor said it's "really difficult" for a celebrity to have an opinion. He says his words become "overly scrutinized, taken out of context" and "thrown into some sort of bullshit, zeitgeisty social media argument."

And this latest controversy is a perfect example.

"Me saying I don't like to call myself a black actor is my prerogative. That's me, not you," he said. "So for you to turn around and say to me, I'm 'denying my blackness.' On what grounds? Did you hear that? Where am I denying it? And what for? It's just stupid."

Idris Elba caused a stir with his Esquire interview.

In that original interview, Elba said he didn't define himself by his skin color.

"I stopped describing myself as a black actor when I realized it put me in a box," Elba said. "We've got to grow. We've got to. Our skin is no more than that: It's just skin."

After the initial uproar, the "Luther" actor took to Twitter to address the issue.

Some fellow actors also came to his defense. John Boyega said the real problem lies with the industry leaders who typecast actors based on their skin color.

Ultimately, Elba said "the entire planet would have a shift" if people focused on their similarities instead of their differences.

"As humans, we are obsessed with race. And that obsession can really hinder people's aspirations, hinder people's growth," he said. "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."

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Amber is a Midwestern transplant living in Murfreesboro, TN. She spends most of her time taking pictures of her dog, explaining why real-life situations are exactly like "this one time on South Park," and being disappointed by the Tennessee Volunteers.