As It Happens

'Live and Let Die' actor Yaphet Kotto says James Bond should be white

Talk of a new James Bond has made headlines around the world. Rumours have been swirling that actor Idris Elba could be the next suave British spy. But, not everyone thinks he should be cast. Former 007 actor Yaphet Kotto is one of those critics.
Roger Moore sitting in a chair with arm restraints while Yaphet Kotto stares at him closely face to face in a scene from the film 'Live And Let Die', 1973. (United Artist/Getty Images)
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This week, talk of a new James Bond actor has made headlines around the world. Rumours have been swirling that actor Idris Elba could be the next suave British spy. But, not everyone thinks he should be cast.

British actor Idris Elba is most well-known for his roles in HBO's The Wire and the BBC One series Luther. (Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images)

Anthony Horowitz, author of the brand-new Bond adventure, Trigger Mortis, said Elba was "too street" to play James Bond. He's since apologized. But, the backlash against him has been unrelenting, with many accusing the author of racism.

But, Yaphet Kotto disagrees. 

"Every time someone Caucasian says something about a black person they're racist," he tells As it Happens guest host Helen Mann. "In today's politically correct world, white people can't open their mouths."

Kotto played Dr. Kananga in the 1973 James Bond movie, Live and Let Die. He was the first black man to play a major Bond villain in the series. But, he believes only a white actor should play Bond.     

"When I heard that they were considering Bond to be black well then I thought why not make him Chinese ... because this is getting into silly season," says Kotto. "It has nothing to do with what the author created. It has something to do with an adjustment to what is politically correct."

So, who is Kotto's pick for the next James Bond film?

Brian Williams.

Yes. The former NBC Nightly News anchor.

"Take a look at him ... He embodies everything that Ian Fleming wrote ... He's James Bond. His attitude. His character. If I was producing that movie I would cast him as James Bond. "  

(Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Time Warner)