Friday, September 30, 2022

Yaphet Kotto: James Bond Should be ‘Played By White Actors’

yaphet kotto

*Count Yaphet Kotto among the folks who thinks casting a black actor as James Bond is political correctness run amok.

The African American actor who played Dr. Kananga/Mr Big in “Live and Let Die,” believes “James Bond was established by Ian Fleming as a white character,” and should be “played by white actors,” reports The Wrap.

The discussion surrounding a hypothetical black James Bond followed rumors that British actor Idris Elba was once in the running to take over the role. Kotto, the first African-American to play a major villain in the franchise (Dr Kananga/Mr. Big in 1973’s “Live and Let Die”), has publicly declared it a bad idea.

“He cannot be black. Political correctness be damned,” he told The Big Issue.

“James Bond was established by Ian Fleming as a white character, played by white actors. Play 003 or 006, but you cannot be 007,” Kotto continued. “A lot of people say we should be allowed to play everything. Don’t be ridiculous.”

Kotto’s opinion on the matter comes after his “Live and Let Die” co-star, Roger Moore — who played Bond in seven films — said casting a black man to play the iconic spy was “an interesting idea, but unrealistic.”

“I think he should be ‘English-English,’” Moore said in an interview that landed him in hot water with the public. In an effort to distance himself from his comments, Moore tweeted: “An interview I gave to Paris Match implies I said something racist about Idris Elba. That is simply untrue. #Lost in translation.”

Kotto, now 75, seems to have no problem declaring a black Bond would be “silly.”

“If I say I want to play JFK I should be laughed out the room. Why should James Bond be black? It’s silly,” Kotto said. “I don’t think it’s right for black actors or writers to do roles that whites have made historically white heroic roles. These roles are not written for black men. Black men should stop trying to play white heroes. We have pens. Put a black man in a role that no one else has established.”

Daniel Craig will return as MI6’s top agent when director Sam Mendes’ “Spectre” hits theaters on Nov. 6.

Below, Kotto in “Live and Let Die”:



  1. He is wrong @kates1221. That’s why we have such a racially divided society. Back in the day we could only play maids, mammy, uncle Tom characters, or hooker roles. Times have changed.Hollywood has remade The Bible, Annie, Cleopatra, etc. many times with actors/actresses who were not White and did A Better Job. White is not always Right. Real life happens in color not black and white. Please miss me with that Step n Fetch way of thinking.

    • You are 100% correct. But times have changed. So why can’t invent our own original characters, instead of always attempting to make a “black version” of something that was created for, and played by someone else? A white Super Fly, The Mack or Cleopatra Jones sounds as bad as a black James Bond. The idea of a classy, black, debonair super spy sounds delicious. But why does it have to be an imitation of one that has already been created? Why can’t he be totally original? Again, I agree with Yaphet.

    • If we’re going to have a black James Bond, then maybe a white John Shaft movie should be in the works.
      PS. Not that it should matter, but I’m black.

  2. 2015 & these house negroes & racist mofo’s are coming out the woodwork more frequently & vicious than ever before.

  3. I agree kates 1221, remember fiasco of the “Honeymooners” remake?? they almost remade “Murder she wrote”, with Octavia Spencer!!! Another reason the roles are scarce, these hotshot producers can’t “create” one original story.

  4. I totally disagree with the premise that a black man can’t play a fictional white character. First of all the author simply wrote the character in his image, but never stating that the man was white. This is a super hero, good looking with super charisma and the ability to out smart the antagonist. This is a new world and there have been many white actors playing black characters because black actors were not being hired to play these parts, mainly because there was a white woman involved. I will suggest since the advent of the hip hop culture, and a new universal language, ie; Empire, we as a country are ready for a fine, black, charismatic 007 to rid the world of the bad guy trying to destroy the world!!

  5. Here is the REAL DEAL but we are too afraid to call out the RIGHT people.

    This should NOT be an issue. James Bond is White. PERIOD.

    Instead the stereotypical negative nword and bword dependent characters maybe we should produce our own James Bond. Ya THINK?

    Show our creativity because it is right there.
    We have cartoon character hero we don’t even support. So what is next? Black Spiderman? Black Superman?

    Demand from OUR people a wider spectrum os shows. Instead of wasting money feeding back to the people we complain about how about investing it in ourselves.

    We have gotten too comfortable making money in their system thay simply feeds their system.When will we invest in ourselves? We CAN afford it. If they say otherwise checkout the the waste in mansions and cars.

    Our rich is turning into the same people we complain about. Don’t let them forget where they came from.

  6. If there is nothing specifically white about the character, like he was a Confederate soldier in the Civil War, there is no reason an “English-English” character can’t be played by a black man. Idris Elba is born and raised British, just specifically a Black British worldview and mindset. This does not invalidate or disqualify him as a prospective 007.

    Yaphet Kotto needs to gone’ on with his ugly black ass. Does anyone remember the Bond movie he was in, “Live and Let Die”? He was happy to get blown up like a big black balloon after a stereotypical knife fight after his fat buffoonish sidekick got kicked into a missile by Roger Moore in the most cooningest of Bond movies:

    This movie was so full of racist stereotypes and imagery and voodoo nonsense that I think Yaphet Kotto was just happy to be IN a Bond movie.

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