Brian Cox says James Bond shouldn’t be updated to remove offensive language
Brian Cox has argued that “we shouldn’t muck around with James Bond” in reference to the original books and older films’ use of offensive language.
The actor was speaking about the franchise in a new interview with RadioTimes to promote the series 007: Road To A Million, in which he plays the mysterious Controller. He has supposedly hidden 10 questions around the world for nine pairs to find through various James Bond inspired challenges.
When asked if he still thinks it’s acceptable to air the films, even if they contain offensive language that’s no longer used in modern society, Cox said: “Yeah, I think that’s OK… because the only way we can understand who we are is by acknowledging our history.
“Look what’s happening in the world today: if we had a real sense of who we are, we wouldn’t have had the idiotic clown from Eton [Boris Johnson] or the Pink Pinocchio [Donald Trump] or Borsch and Tears [Vladimir Putin].”
While he said he believed it’s “fine” to have disclaimers on older programmes, Cox said “it’s a wonderful tradition that we try to carry on”.
“We don’t muck around with Shakespeare; we shouldn’t muck around with James Bond.”
Earlier this year, it was announced that Ian Fleming’s James Bond books are being reissued this year, and have reportedly been edited to remove racist references and words.
Now, a disclaimer is set to accompany all the new books, reading: “This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace.
“A number of updates have been made in this edition, while keeping as close as possible to the original text and the period in which it is set.”
The N word, which was used heavily by Fleming in the books, has now either been replaced by “black person” or “black man” or removed from the book.
Around the same time, Puffin announced the release of the Roald Dahl Classic Collection, and changed references to “fat” and “ugly” characters, claiming they had “listened to the debate”.
In response, King Charles’ wife Camilla said the edits were the work of “those who may wish to curb the freedom of your expression or impose limits on your imagination,” while Ricky Gervais hit out at the “fragile” and “easily offended” people who brought about the changes.