Idris Elba says he disagrees with ‘censorship’ of racist old sitcoms because ‘viewers should know that people made shows like this’ and ‘freedom of speech’ must be allowed
Idris Elba says he does not agree with censoring old sitcoms because of modern sensibilities about race.
Sitcoms including Little Britain, which came under fire because of the use of blackface make-up in some sketches, was recently dropped from Netflix, BBC iPlayer and BritBox.
But Elba, 47, told the Radio Times. ‘I’m very much a believer in freedom of speech.’
Speaking out: Idris Elba says he does not agree with censoring old sitcoms because of modern sensibilities about race
Instead, there should be a ratings system warning viewers that a film or show has outdated, insulting viewpoints, he said.
While not referring to a specific programme, Elba said: ‘To mock the truth, you have to know the truth. But to censor racist themes within a show, to pull it… I think viewers should know that people made shows like this.
‘Commissioners and archive-holders pulling things they think are exceptionally tone-deaf at this time – fair enough and good for you.
Criticised: Little Britain has been taken down from streaming sites because of scenes involving blackface
Recovered: Elba also discussed how it felt being one of the first high-profile names to contract coronavirus, saying it was a ‘traumatic’ experience
‘But I think, moving forward, people should know that freedom of speech is accepted, but the audience should know what they’re getting into.’
‘I don’t believe in censorship,’ Elba added. ‘I believe that we should be allowed to say what we want to say. Because, after all, we’re story-makers.’
The In The Long Run actor said boosting diversity needs a change in attitude.
Get your copy: Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times
‘Money helps,’ he said, but added: ‘It’s a shift in attitude, in perspective, in tolerance. And you can’t put an amount on that.’
In the interview, Elba also discussed how it felt being one of the first high-profile names to contract coronavirus.
He is not fully recovered but said the experience had a ‘traumatic’ effect on him.
The Wire actor said: ‘Mentally, it hit me very bad, because a lot was unknown about it.
‘I felt very compelled to speak about it, just because it was such an unknown.
‘So the mental impact of that on both myself and my wife was pretty traumatic.’
It comes after Elba hinted that there could be a film version of his hit detective series Luther.
He said: ‘I’ve made it very clear that I’d like to see Luther come back as a film. And I can tell you this, that we are this close to making a film of Luther.’
Iconic role: The actor is teasing a big screen outing for the unorthodox British detective Luther
The news that a feature version of the series may definitely be on the cards was first reported by London’s Sky News.
Luther premiered in 2010 and garnered rave reviews and a loyal following.
It also made a star of Ruth Wilson who played narcissistic murderer Alice Morgan and went on to star in Showtime’s The Affair and the film Saving Mr. Banks.
The fifth season of Luther was broadcast in January 2019 and ended on a cliffhanger with plenty of loose ends that could be explored in a movie version.
Happening? ‘I’ve made it very clear that I’d like to see Luther come back as a film. And I can tell you this, that we are this close to making a film of Luther,’ the actor, 47, said Tuesday
Hit series: Luther premiered in 2010 and garnered rave reviews and a loyal following. It also made a star of Ruth Wilson who played narcissistic murderer Alice Morgan, pictured
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