‘There Aren’t Enough Opportunities For White People?!’ Elie Mystal Throws DOWN With Conservative Over Black James Bond


Justice Correspondent for The Nation Elie Mystal threw down with conservative commentator Scottie Nell Hughes over a new report suggesting a Black actor will play James Bond in the next 007 film.

At issue is a new report in which an anonymous entertainment executive is quoted as saying “The next James Bond won’t be white” and “the days of a white Bond are over.”

On Friday night’s edition of NewsNation’s CUOMO, host Chris Cuomo moderated a debate between Mystal and Hughes on the Bond report, as well as other films in which White characters have been recast as nonwhite, such as Disney’s blockbuster remake of The Little Mermaid.

The conversation got intense:

CHRIS CUOMO: Said they are. That’s what they said about. That’s what they said about Daniel Craig. And then he wound up killing it. But, you know, look, my point about this is I’m all for, you know, playing to your strengths and diversity is our strength. I was a little surprised. I love Idris Elba. So when he was suggested as that, it was a great, and in the last movie then there was intrigue that they were going to make it a woman, maybe the woman who was in the movie. And I thought that was a little bit more of an odd fit. But if you were going to play to the global palette, wouldn’t he, and if it’s for America, wouldn’t he be Latino? And if it’s for the world market, wouldn’t he probably come from Bollywood? I mean, why is there’s this expectation that he has to be a Black actor?

ELIE MYSTAL: I don’t think there’s an expectation that he has to be a Black actor. Again. I disagree with the premise here. The idea is that he has been White for six iterations and there is no problem in opening it up to other people. The idea that you’ve just suggested that anybody who plays him is doomed to fail either tells me that you have not watched the Timothy Dalton James Bonds or that you did not watch No Time to Die, the last James Bond, which was horrible, or you have not watched the amazing performances given by people like Regé-Jean Page, who I think is one of the people in the running for this role. He was in the, he’s in Bridgerton. He was in Dungeons and Dragons. He’s fantastic. He has perfect diction. Like what? The idea that anybody Black is doomed to fail is the definition of why it’s about time somebody Black was James Bond. Just to prove you wrong.

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES: You’re not. You’re not. You’re totally misrepresenting what I said. I didn’t say anybody Black. I said anybody! And I’m an originalist. I like Sean Connery. I said, anybody. And we are only talking about Black characters. We’re not talking about any of the other actors to take this place. And every character that’s been replaced has been Black. So there’s a reason why people are saying that it’s going to be a Black person that is going to replace him. So that, but it’s all based on (crosstalk)

ELIE MYSTAL: Every character who has been replaced, has been Black like in like in global history? Like, I don’t even know. You say.

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES: Have you seen a Hispanic replace a White person in one of the recent films? No. And yet what.

ELIE MYSTAL: What recent film are you talking about? Of course, we have so much more opportunities given to Hispanic actors. We’ve seen more opportunities given to. But once the I just saw Kenobi which had one of its key persons be an AAPI actor like this is happening…

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES: But this is the placement of old original characters on diversity. It’s not diverse. It’s only one one sector that is getting it…

ELIE MYSTAL: Is the argument that there aren’t enough opportunities for White people in Hollywood? Is that what you’re gpoing with?

CHRIS CUOMO: Guys, we’re going, I got to go.

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES: No, I’m talking about Hispanics, Indians, Chinese…

CHRIS CUOMO: I appreciate the points on both sides. You’ve given plenty for the audience to chew on and let’s let them do that.

Watch above via NewsNation’s CUOMO.

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Filed Under: