Good evening, Ms Bond. We’ve been expecting you

Resistance to a female or black 007 mistakes the kind of character Bond is

10/17/2021 2:09:00 AM

James Bond is a kind of consoling mascot, cherished by devotees from childhood into adult life; messing with him is bound to shake and stir. All the same, resistance to a female or non-white star is premised on a mistake

Resistance to a female or black 007 mistakes the kind of character Bond is

unny business, the suspension of disbelief. Some disbeliefs are more suspendable than others. In six decades on screen, James Bond has been played by seven actors. He has barely aged. He has hopscotched on the backs of crocodiles, surfed a tsunami and enjoyed a run of enemies who, after capturing him, go in for windy pontification and needlessly elaborate murder methods. These violations of the laws of probability and physics have not disenchanted his fans.

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But faith, it seems, has limits. The idea that, after Daniel Craig’s swansong in “No Time To Die”, the role might go to a black or female actor has caused outrage in the Bondosphere. No, Mr Bond, runs the gist of the objections; we expect you to be a white guy.

“A character is created”, wrote the structuralist critic Roland Barthes, when a set of references “traverse the same proper name several times and appear to settle upon it”. For the Bond of cinema, the references have come to include car chases, gadgets, villains’ lairs, badinage with Moneypenny, the swooning, spot-lit theme-tune and those finickity martinis. Also an underdog derring-do and deadpan irony that are identifiably British. And, so far, the features of a white male actor.

For some, even Mr Craig’s haunted, bouncer-with-a-heart interpretation has been too great a departure from the coolness of his predecessors. (No, Mr Bond; we don’t expect you to cry.) Yet an undercurrent of self-satire has always trickled beneath Bond’s suave surface, bursting out eventually as a critique of his boozing, bloodlust and promiscuity. As long ago as “GoldenEye” (1995), Judy Dench, as the spymaster M, denounced Pierce Brosnan’s Bond as “a sexist, misogynist dinosaur” and “a relic of the cold war”. His vulnerabilities in “No Time To Die”, such as losing his 007 codename to a female agent—then recovering it, like Ronaldo reclaiming his shirt number at Manchester United—are only an extension of this trend.

Go further back, to Bond’s first entrance in “Casino Royale”, Ian Fleming’s novel of 1953, and the character is only dimly recognisable. The original Bond was an appalling misogynist, and not just compared with Mr Craig’s. “Women were for recreation,” Fleming’s protagonist thinks. “On a job, they got in the way and fogged things up with sex and hurt feelings.” Conversely, whereas the Bond of “No Time To Die” blithely kills hundreds of people, the original is oddly passive. Most of the violence in the book is perpetrated against his testicles, which Le Chiffre, the baddie, thrashes with a carpet-beater.

The man himself spends a lot of time planning what to eat and drink. Fleming didn’t conceive of him as the action hero he would become. No, he expected Bond to dine.Among the Bond stories’ only consistent features, in fact, are a certain ennui—he has been looking for a way out ever since he arrived—as well as change, and the fear of change. “The world’s moved on,” Bond is warned in the new film. “History is moving pretty quickly these days,” he laments in the novel, “and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.” On screen, change has meant new adversaries to suit the times (while avoiding offence in major markets), intrusive product-placement and perpetually updated cultural allusions. In “No Time To Die” the gallows humour of Bond and Felix Leiter, his CIA foil, recalls Butch and Sundance; other scenes bring to mind Hannibal Lecter, “Titanic” and the bit in “Free Willy 2” when the whales escape by swimming under burning oil.

In the finale, Bond faces his fate armed with a little girl’s soft toy. He is himself a kind of consoling mascot, cherished by devotees from childhood into adult life; messing with him is bound to shake and stir. All the same, resistance to a female or non-white star is premised on a mistake—not about the culture wars but about the kind of character 007 is. Bond is not like Atticus Finch or Don Draper; he does not have a psychological essence or inviolable core. He is more like the recurring archetypes in medieval morality plays or the

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commedia dell’arte—a set of references that migrate between stories and eras, shifting and sometimes expendable, unmoored from both their source material and previous incarnations. Bond is less a person than an outline.A bit like loutish hen parties, a female 007 machine-gunning her way around Instagrammable locations might be a dubious sort of advance for feminism. But there is no intrinsic reason why gender—or ethnicity—should be a deal-breaker in casting the next one. In the end, Bond is not just a number. He is a free man. Or woman.

Read more: The Economist »

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This is simply lack of ideas. The other way around would be labeled as a cultural appropriation. Its fact that the character Ian Fleming created is a British, white, gentleman. Its impossible to reverse that or have Flemming another character created. Its of course possible to make movies about a black lady spy of French origin called 007, but you cant call a remake original

Bond, as we know him, was killed off. He left behind a daughter. Jodie Comer will be the new bond. Go woke go broke. It would interesting to see the revenues if the lead character was transformed. Sincerely curious GetWokeGoBroke Are you an agent of TheBorg? Did you write Bond? Is he your creation? If not then how can you possibly comment... unless it was just woke guess work.

Or disabled. Q: What could be worse than “a sexist, misogynist dinosaur” Bond? A: A politically correct Bond. Far worse. NO TIME TO DIE ACTUALLY means the death of 007,which has made like shit…

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Remember when the Economist was good and relevant. WTF Why not create an original strong female spy character if they want to diversify that genre? In the end movies are about making money, it's up to audiences. People won't watch forced, unnatural wokeisms. “Resistance.” Is that what disliking a black female 007 is? I thought it’s just being against changing a character for no reason other than to be woke, like when the BBC had a black woman play the queen of England in a historical drama.

Oh please. Would it be so hard to conceive of a new character and persona? Are we that tapped out ? If superman can have sex with earthlings, why must 007 be a white male? Watch the movie. There already was a Black Female 007 You call this journalism? Good luck forcing audience go woke hahaha Sigh...this is the kind of mind-numbing rubbish you are accustomed to seeing in Bloomberg tweets. The last few years have been rough on the Economist.

And the Ms Bond‘s boys will say “gee you have got a big pussy…”

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Make no mistake, resistance is feudal. The trend of putting females in well established male characters speaks of the current lack of movie imagination. It is an all too clear money grabbing pander to those who think this advances female equality. It doesn't. All it says is that females can only take over male roles.

Yeah yall never been in the military. Your replacement takes your call sign. You people where mad Daniel Craig got the job now you fruit bats are funny. The only color that matters in the 21st century, moving forward, is green. Every other thing is political. Bond is a man and he is white! all other is bullshit.

Umm, no. Make him or her a 008 or 006. No objection. But 007 is forced wokeness. SavedOneClick Honestly!!! Altering James Bond to suit the “woke generation” can easily cause the cultural storm we need Go Bond!!! 'Resistance to female or non-white star' is a sentence that coul only be written in our current, race-crazy time. 'James Bond', as written by Ian Fleming, was an Englisman, i.e a male and white. A female and a non-white would not be a character as written by Fleming.

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Anyone know why Fleming picked 007? They’ve ruined so many things. Now they corrupt James Bond? “Non-white star”, what kind of talk is this? Bond is Bond, a male agent. Nobody else. It's only a movie... Nothing else. I'm sure that on the real life women can do better all the things. I hope next Spain's President of the goverment be a woman. We need It.

The economist makes the mistake. The James Bond character is a man, conceived in a different era. If he is now a dinosaur then retire him. Atart something new by all means but leave him to history and enjoy it. It plays into male archetypes, so no sense in changing the gender - It has nothing to do with women's undeniable ability to be badasses. It would be as nonsensical as making Wonder Woman a guy.

The fuck does this have to do with economics? 'Economics?' I’m all about diversity, and I think the 007 character could be reborn as a non-white male and it would work perfectly fine under the Bond franchise. I think if your going to have the star be a female the franchise isn’t Bond … it’s the 007 concept. Good or bad 🤷‍♂️

I burned out on Bond about 267 films ago. Well, they have to prove ANY franchise can be killed by woke.

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Why are you sitting at home doing nothing were there is an online job going on, earn $50,000 every day, just click on the name of the manager there she will help you at as she did to me Evelynclark777 How about Idris Elba? The man would be fantastic in the role! James Bond a fictional character who is a white make. Create a new character don’t leech off the franchise to make money

Idris is so obvious. The same could be said of The Economist. Edris Elba Bond would be cool, a female Bond would go against the spirit of what Bond is, a suave lady killer, men want to be him and women want to be with him. James bond is dead, they killed the not bull shit he died in the new movie....spoilers l but don't go see last movie

What’s the motive or idea of appropriation to fiction. Fiction should remain fiction. The attempt to craft even fiction with a worldview (outside of artistic freedom) is censorship. Maybe the opposite side of the coin but still censorship. I’m anti censorship. Thank you for the spoiler ctm

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