For Idris Elba, It’s Simple: ‘The #MeToo Movement Is Only Difficult If You Have Something to Hide’

Idris Elba addresses the crowd during the The Best FIFA Football Awards Show on September 24, 2018 in London, England.
Idris Elba addresses the crowd during the The Best FIFA Football Awards Show on September 24, 2018 in London, England.
Photo: Dan Istitene (Getty Images)

Much like any pushback directed toward men ever in history, Tarana Burke’s #MeToo movement has ruffled the feathers of the peen plumage.


Hollywood even sent itself into a tizzy about the movement possibly killing a filmmaker’s creative ability to produce adequate sex scenes in movies. Which ... okay. Whatever helps you set up your light kit at night, boo.

In a May 2018 survey interviewing 1,000 men in the United States, 84 percent of them were concerned this movement would ruin the reputations of innocent men. Yeah, because that’s the primary point of concern: these hypothetically innocent men raked over the coals, not the women whose reputations and careers were actually ruined due to this toxic sexual culture.

Instead of performing in these same Cirque du Soleil-level acrobatics, Idris Elba snatched the onus from the women—for once—and instead directed it onto its rightful target. Because there’s only one reason to be worried about the #MeToo movement.

“It’s only difficult if you are a man with something to hide,” the 47-year-old actor told the Sunday Times.

Bloop, there it is. As Savon (Isaiah Washington) did in Love Jones, Elba broke it down “so it can forever and consistently be broke.”

Hit dogs holler, and all that jazz.

In fact, Elba has always been Team #MeToo, having praised the women who came forward during a 2017 interview with Den of Geek while promoting the Jessica Chastain film Molly’s Game, in which he co-starred.


“Of course, this is a film that was made a year ago, and probably prepped two or three years ago. But to come out when it’s coming out now is actually quite amazing, when we’re seeing women stand up and have a liberation movement of speaking up against some their atrocities that [have] happened,” he said in connection with the film’s relevance to the movement.

Elba recently released his directorial debut, Yardie, and will be returning as the titular character in BBC’s Luther, which will premiere its fifth season this Christmas.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.



I hear what he’s saying, regarding personal guilt, but #metoo should make anyone who has any degree of power of others grapple with themselves at least a bit and not even just about sexual harassment of women because so much sexual harassment is not about sex it’s about power.

Whether that’s as a coach, a boss, a politician, or even just as the informal leader of a group.

The moment you start thinking “I’m different” or “I personally haven’t done anything wrong” or “As a leader, my people know I would take their claim seriously” in simplistic, absolutist terms, you’re toast. The only way to avoid letting complacency slowly slip blinders over your eyes is to actively engage with your people.

Communicate with them, encourage them, work to make them feel that they have a voice, even if it’s not in everything due to the nature of the work environment.

That’s not something you earn once and then you just have it forever after. It’s something that has to be sustained continuously.