The Bond controversy and why you should read things fully before getting all hot and bothered

By Jamie Hill - 19 July 2019

Arts and CultureOpinion and Features

It's been a strange ol' week. The internet, which has never been shy of kneejerk reactions, literally exploded when it was announced that 007 would be played by a girl in the next James Bond film.

On Monday it was revealed that Lashana Lynch, an actress who you might have seen in Captain Marvel, would be replacing Daniel Craig as 007.

But before you either jump for joy or get angrier than a thunderball, you should know that the clickbait headlines were slightly misleading. 

The actress isn't actually replacing James Bond. This isn't Jemima Bond. Nope, the James Bond you know and love is still front and centre

As an aside I've always had this idea in my head that Bond would be changed inexorably by austerity more than anything else with MI6 no longer having the budget to send him to Casino Royale but instead to an online gambling site like the ones you find at jackpotjoy or other sites. Ruddy cuts.

James Bond, himself, played by Daniel Craig will still be the star of the show but in a major plot development in the new as yet unnamed movie, he will be retired and his code number '007' assigned to another agent who could have been male or female but ended up being a black woman played by Lashana. Craig's bond will still be the main hero. He'll still walk away from explosions in a cool manner and still drive ludicrously fast cars and snog beautiful women.

You'd think that just a simple scan beyond the headline of a story would have revealed that to most people. But that was not to be as social media literally blew up with red faced men apoleptic with the news that it was 'political correctness gone mad!' and 'the feminazis have made James Bond a woman!'.

The rage seemed to go on and on. Entire forums of people, mainly white men, who hadn't been bothered to read beyond the headline, were on the attack. They went at it like like flies on dung as for them this story of their precious epitome of maledom being 'PC'ed fed right into their racism, sexism and whatever 'ism' chips they had on their shoulders.

And with each one, at some point, a rational voice would tell them in a calm manner what actually had happened and these red-faced knuckle draggers would have to backtrack in some way in a collective 'Urm, I didn't realise that' and then would turn their ire in another direction (probably towards Star Wars or the female Ghostbusters or against bendy bananas).

But this whole incident, fed by clickbait news sites who like to rile up knuckle draggers, does bring up an interesting question. How does James Bond, an agent known for his misogyny, fit into this modern #metoo progressive world?

Well, I quite like Killing Eve and Fleabag writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge's answer to this particular question as she has said that you don't have to change 'Bond' himself but just change the world that he is written into as that would lead to an interesting story dynamic.

Personally this latest plot development has made me want to watch the new Bond even more!

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