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Idris Elba in No Good DeedQuantrell Colbert

James Bond has a special chemistry. He is charming but deadly. He's a brawler who always looks good in a suit. His charisma is off the charts. One of his smouldering looks has the power to make women and men go weak in the knees. In other words, he is Idris Elba.

No wonder then, as Daniel Craig prepares to leave the franchise, Elba is the top choice of many to take over.

But in an interview with The Daily Mail, Anthony Horowitz, the newest author commissioned by Ian Fleming's estate to write a Bond novel, said not only is Elba "too street" to play the character, he also isn't suave enough.

"For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It's not a colour issue. I think he is probably a bit too 'street' for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah," Horowitz told the newspaper.

Elba, who has been famous on this side of the Atlantic since starring in The Wire, is so suave that he recently became the first man to ever appear on the cover of Maxim.

The reaction on social media to Horowitz's interview has ranged from incensed to mocking to just plain confused.

Some have said that calling Elba "too street" is a coded term for "black" and therefore racist.

Horowitz said he would prefer to see Adrian Lester in the role, so at the very least Horowitz can't be lumped in with the halfwits who insist Bond must always be played by a white actor.

Others have pointed out how utterly incomprehensible it is to say Elba isn't suave enough to play Bond.

"I don't care [about] Bond, but when suave gets amnesia, it looks at a photo of Idris Elba & says, 'Oh right, that's me," quipped James Poniewozik, The New York Times' newest TV critic.

Horowitz apologized for his statements on Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm really sorry my comments about Idris Elba have caused offence," he said in a statement posted to his Twitter account. "That wasn't my intention. I was asked in my interview if Idris Elba would make a good James Bond. In the article I expressed the opinion that to my mind Adrian Lester would be a better choice but I'm a writer not a casting director so what do I know? Clumsily, I chose the word 'street' as Elba's gritty portrayal of DCI John Luther was in my mind but I admit it was a poor choice of word. I am mortified to have caused offence."

The apology sounds sincere, but the problem still remains: How could anyone think Elba wouldn't make an amazing Bond?