As with the breaking of every glass ceiling controversy prevails with the announcement that Lashana Lynch will portray the first Black female 007 in the James Bond movie “No Time to Die.”
Rumblings of turmoil surfaced last year when a British magazine interviewed the trailblazing actress.
Instead of cheers for the doubly diverse unprecedented direction the franchise advanced, bigots unleashed rage and vitriol aimed at discrediting the progression of the series.
That a Black woman could rise to the level of a British secret agent proved a toxic concept the internet accommodated.
In a story published by Harper’s Bazaar UK for their year-end series on women British writer Yrsa Daley Ward introduced the daughter of a Jamaican mother and Nigerian father casted to portray Nomi.
According to the script Nomi assumes the role of the charmed character when Mr. James Bond (Daniel Craig) seeks exile in Jamaica.
Perhaps Ian Fleming, the original conceptualizer of the Bond series might have imagined the storyline considering he penned his first ideas while living on the island.
Fleming delivered “Dr. No,” the first of a winning series of spy thrillers.
But with the 25th of a series, a new millennia and the hashtag MeToo proposing gender equal possibilities two realities of gender and race are already testing the favorability quotient of fans.
“For a week, she deleted her social-media apps, meditated and saw no one but family, while comforting herself with the knowledge that the aggressive comments were ultimately not personal,” Daley-Ward wrote of Lynch.
In response Lynch returned understanding of intolerance she seems accustomed.
“It doesn’t dishearten me. It makes me feel quite sad for some people because their opinions, they’re not even from a mean place—they’re actually from a sad place,” Lynch said.
“It’s not about me,” she added. “People are reacting to an idea, which has nothing to do with my life.”
“I am one Black woman—if it were another Black woman cast in the role, it would have been the same conversation, she would have got the same attacks, the same abuse.”
“I just have to remind myself that the conversation is happening and that I’m a part of something that will be very, very revolutionary.”
Lynch explained her interpretation of the role to being “a character that is too slick, a cast-iron figure? That’s completely against what I stand for,” Lynch said.
“I didn’t want to waste an opportunity when it came to what Nomi might represent. I searched for at least one moment in the script where Black audience members would nod their heads, tutting at the reality but glad to see their real life represented. In every project I am part of, no matter the budget or genre, the Black experience that I’m presenting needs to be 100 percent authentic.”
In an often sexist and racist society the perception of a Black woman positioned for prominence seems unimaginable.
The thought of a Black woman anchored to a franchise defined by male machismo, charisma and testosterone — particularly if it provided consistent box-office bonanza might seem inconceivable to a segment rigidly committed to tradition.
Now here’s another ceiling crasher, for the first time the theme song will be written by an 18-year-old.
Grammy winning, teenager Billie Eilish wrote and produced the title track with her brother Fineas McOnnell.
“No Time To Die” is set to be in theaters on April 2.
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