James Bond, Agent 007; this super sexy super-spy has been a sweeping fan favourite franchise since 1962 with Sean Connery portraying the character in the first movie Dr. No.
This franchise is still going strong in 2019 with the news that Lashana Lynch, a woman of colour, is set to inherit the 007 codename from current James Bond actor Daniel Craig.
The internet (a.k.a the realm of public opinion) seems to have 3 strong opinions on this topic. Some think that this change will make the Bond movies even more successful, bringing in a wider audience and making the films more accessible and relatable to women and people of colour.
Others are concerned that the franchise is trying to be progressive through this choice, but is the actress possibly going to fall victim to black tokenism? With the main storyline arc for her character being to convince James Bond to come out of retirement, it leaves ample opportunity for the franchise to simply kill her off once her goal is achieved. Thankfully, this may not be the case due to the 2 new writers of James Bond being women of colour themselves. I am personally hoping this means the franchise is taking this seriously and keeping Lashana as a main character. It is so important for young people to see representations they can relate to in the media, as it increases self esteem.
Another unfortunately large portion of the internet (albeit those who dwell in the dark recesses of their mummy’s basements and have too much time on their hands) have some sexist and racist reasons to justify why the casting decision for the new 007 should not be a black woman. This can especially be seen on Twitter with men spouting comments such as
“We ought to boycott this new 007 movies & make it flop! What’s really behind this is an attack on masculinity with a symbolic denouncement of 007 into a fem fantasy of power.”
This is truly an example of how depraved and ridiculous some men can be when faced with change. This is not an attack on masculinity (not that men need any more heroes to idolise), and this is going to inspire so many women, and bring more money to the franchise by widening its audience.
Another charmingly sexist comment that highlights a prevalent stereotype of women is as follows: “So the new 007 is a woman. Ugh. “I’ll have a martini. Shaken, not stirred. No wait… make it dirty, but not filthy. Three olives please. No, wait, four. Do I really want a martini? Hmmmm. Maybe a Cape Cod. Do I want fruity though? Oh, just give me an Appletini.”
And to top that, there’s been talk that women can not play 007 because it wouldn’t satisfy male ‘wish fulfillment fantasy’. God.
The current actor who plays Bond has said he thinks the character is a problematic misogynist, and he is correct; when you rewatch the Bond movies, most situations with a woman could be classified as sexual assault and even rape, due to some scenes with the presence of force, blackmail and violence.
In our world that is developing morals and ethics, it is clear to those of us with a moral consciousness that the nostalgic Bond character needs a serious make-over and attitude check that respects women as his equals. It is a positive step to have Lashana Lynch as a leading character, and hopefully more positive steps will be taken to rebrand and make the Bond franchise create characters who show equality, compassion and consent as traits to aspire; and this will have a beneficial impact on young boys and girls watching.
I think this fresh perspective of using a woman of colour is a welcome change from the old-fashioned Hollywood sexism, classism, racism and general inappropriateness we see from a show that has only ever cast white male leads. I hope she does a bomb.com job of the role to prove all the sexists wrong! A woman is totally capable of being a sexy, badass spy. Goodluck to Lashana Lynch in her new role – we’re all rooting for her to kick some villain butt!
Feature Image: MovieWeb