Can James Bond be played by a black man?
Absolutely. Just don't tell Rush Limbaugh, who devoted part of his radio show on Tuesday to fussing over a rumor that Idris Elba -- a black, British actor known for his roles in "The Wire" and "American Gangster," among others -- could replace the current 007, Daniel Craig, when the time comes.
“James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming. He was white and Scottish. Period. That is who James Bond is, was,” Limbaugh said, in comments flagged by Media Matters. “But now [they are] suggesting that the next James Bond should be Idris Elba, a black Briton, rather than a white from Scotland."
"But that’s not who James Bond is," he continued, acknowledging, "and I know it’s racist to probably point this out.”
In a 2011 interview with NPR, Elba addressed the rumor he might replace Craig, telling host Linda Wertheimer he's not interested in playing "black roles" -- just "roles."
"I just don't want to be the black James Bond," Elba said. "Sean Connery wasn't the Scottish James Bond, and Daniel Craig wasn't the blue-eyed James Bond, so if I played him, I don't want to be called the black James Bond."
The current rumor has its roots in a leaked email from Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal, who, in a private message sent earlier this year, stated, "Idris should be the next Bond."
Listen to Limbaugh's comments in full, above.