Idris Elba Slams ‘Stupid, Ridiculous Conspiracy Theories’ About Black People And Coronavirus

The actor tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday.

Idris Elba hopped on social media today (March 16) to update fans on his health following his positive test for coronavirus.

But before he talked about himself, he had a message to share, specifically with Black folks:

“Something that’s sort of scaring me when I read the comments and see some of the reactions is: My people — black people, black people — please, please understand that coronavirus ... you can get it, all right?” he said in the first of two live-streamed Q&As conducted Tuesday afternoon. “There are so many stupid, ridiculous conspiracy theories about black people not being able to get it. That’s dumb, stupid.”

He continued, “That is the quickest way to get more black people killed. And I’m talking about the whole world. Wherever we are, please understand that you can get it. ... Just know you have to be as vigilant as every other race. This disease does not discriminate. ... As a black person who has contracted the virus, it needs to be said.”

Later, he assured fans that he still wasn’t exhibiting any symptoms of the potentially deadly virus, but was concerned because of a pre-existing condition.

“Yes, of course I’m worried,” he said on the livestream Q&A. “I’m worried about having asthma and how that could make things complicated very quickly. I’m very worried about what’s happening in the world, if I’m honest. I’ve very worried about how we’re dealing it. Part of speaking publicly about it part of me coping about how the world is dealing with it.”

Elba is one of several celebrities to have contracted COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. Tom and Rita Hanks, Kevin Durant and others have also tested positive.

As of March 17, according to The New York Times, over 5,000 people in the United States are infected with the coronavirus and at least 100 people have died. There are over 500 reported cases in the state of California. 

For the latest on the coronavirus, contact your local health department and visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking subscribe, I agree to receive newsletters, marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers), and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. For more information about our data practices, consult our Privacy Policy.