Brian Cox says 'James Bond' shouldn't be updated to remove offensive language

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

Brian Cox has said that he believes the language used in James Bond shouldn't be changed, even if some deem it offensive.

James Bond is one of the most iconic characters in the world, proven by the constant demand for more movies that come from Ian Fleming's books.

Earlier this year it was reported by Variety that the books were being edited to remove language that some may deem racist or sexist.

Disclaimers were also put into them to warn readers that the language might not be up to modern-day standards, given that the first novel, Casino Royale, came out in 1953.

size-full wp-image-1263234074
James Bond is an iconic British spy. Credit: Greg Williams/Getty

Each Bond novel is now accompanied by a disclaimer that reads: "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."

One of the most significant alterations brought about by this process is the removal of racist language throughout the novels. The original Bond series, penned between 1953 and 1966, featured the use of the N-word in certain sections, a term that has been replaced with the word 'Black.'

Additionally, references to the ethnicity of many secondary characters have been expunged from the novels.

Ian Fleming Publications, in a statement reported by The Telegraph, asserted: "We at Ian Fleming Publications reviewed the text of the original Bond books and decided our best course of action was to follow Ian’s lead. We have made changes to 'Live and Let Die' that he himself authorized.

"Following Ian’s approach, we looked at the instances of several racial terms across the books and removed a number of individual words or else swapped them for terms that are more accepted today but in keeping with the period in which the books were written."

size-full wp-image-1263234075
Bond was first penned in 1953. Credit: Bettmann/Getty

However, amid the ongoing dialogue regarding the adaptation of classic literature to modern standards, legendary actor Brian Cox, best known for his role as the formidable Logan Roy in the hit series Succession, has expressed a strong opinion on the matter.

Cox has recently taken on the role of The Controller in 007: Road to a Million, a reality TV show where teams of two race around the globe, answering questions for a chance at a substantial cash prize.

When questioned by the Radio Times about the James Bond books and movies and whether they should undergo adaptation or alteration, Cox responded with a resounding defense of the unaltered legacy of the super-spy.

Watch the trailer for 007: Road to a Million below:

In his viewpoint, Cox supported the inclusion of disclaimers as a measure of contextualization but firmly stated, "We don't muck around with Shakespeare; we shouldn't muck around with James Bond."

The acclaimed actor argued that encountering problematic elements in older films, books, or TV shows is essential as it aids in understanding our history and acknowledging the societal shifts that have occurred over time. In essence, it serves as a lens through which we can appreciate how far we have come and the evolution of our cultural sensibilities.

We're still waiting for news on who the next Bond is going to be...

Featured image credit: Borja B. Hojas/Getty

Brian Cox says 'James Bond' shouldn't be updated to remove offensive language

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

Brian Cox has said that he believes the language used in James Bond shouldn't be changed, even if some deem it offensive.

James Bond is one of the most iconic characters in the world, proven by the constant demand for more movies that come from Ian Fleming's books.

Earlier this year it was reported by Variety that the books were being edited to remove language that some may deem racist or sexist.

Disclaimers were also put into them to warn readers that the language might not be up to modern-day standards, given that the first novel, Casino Royale, came out in 1953.

size-full wp-image-1263234074
James Bond is an iconic British spy. Credit: Greg Williams/Getty

Each Bond novel is now accompanied by a disclaimer that reads: "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."

One of the most significant alterations brought about by this process is the removal of racist language throughout the novels. The original Bond series, penned between 1953 and 1966, featured the use of the N-word in certain sections, a term that has been replaced with the word 'Black.'

Additionally, references to the ethnicity of many secondary characters have been expunged from the novels.

Ian Fleming Publications, in a statement reported by The Telegraph, asserted: "We at Ian Fleming Publications reviewed the text of the original Bond books and decided our best course of action was to follow Ian’s lead. We have made changes to 'Live and Let Die' that he himself authorized.

"Following Ian’s approach, we looked at the instances of several racial terms across the books and removed a number of individual words or else swapped them for terms that are more accepted today but in keeping with the period in which the books were written."

size-full wp-image-1263234075
Bond was first penned in 1953. Credit: Bettmann/Getty

However, amid the ongoing dialogue regarding the adaptation of classic literature to modern standards, legendary actor Brian Cox, best known for his role as the formidable Logan Roy in the hit series Succession, has expressed a strong opinion on the matter.

Cox has recently taken on the role of The Controller in 007: Road to a Million, a reality TV show where teams of two race around the globe, answering questions for a chance at a substantial cash prize.

When questioned by the Radio Times about the James Bond books and movies and whether they should undergo adaptation or alteration, Cox responded with a resounding defense of the unaltered legacy of the super-spy.

Watch the trailer for 007: Road to a Million below:

In his viewpoint, Cox supported the inclusion of disclaimers as a measure of contextualization but firmly stated, "We don't muck around with Shakespeare; we shouldn't muck around with James Bond."

The acclaimed actor argued that encountering problematic elements in older films, books, or TV shows is essential as it aids in understanding our history and acknowledging the societal shifts that have occurred over time. In essence, it serves as a lens through which we can appreciate how far we have come and the evolution of our cultural sensibilities.

We're still waiting for news on who the next Bond is going to be...

Featured image credit: Borja B. Hojas/Getty