Los Angeles: Anthony Horowitz, writer of the new James Bond novel "Trigger Mortis", believes Idris Elba is "probably a bit too street" to be the next actor to play the fictional British spy.
Horowitz said he thought Elba was "a bit too rough" to play the part although he asserted that it wasn't "a colour issue", reports dailymail.co.uk.
"I think he is probably a bit too street for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah,” Horowitz said.
Elba has long been touted as the fans' choice to become the first black Bond. For some, the reference to Elba as "too street" was code for "too black".
"Between The World and Me" author Ta-Nehisi Coates tweeted that Hororwitz should "Just be honest and say 'James Bond's being white is important to me' and be done with it."
Horowitz -- whom the estate of Bond creator Ian Fleming chose to take over the 007 books -- said his issue with Elba for the role has nothing to do with the actor's race.
"Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better," the writer said.
Later, Horowitz tweeted an apology amidst all the controversy.
"I admit it was a poor choice of word. I am mortified to have caused offence,” he wrote.
As for the silver screen, actor Daniel Craig will return as James Bond in Sam Mendes' “Spectre”, which is slated to release in November later this year.
Mumbai Roundup: 9 incidents that took place this week
Photos: Ajay Devgn, Parineeti, Tabu at 'Golmaal Again' trailer launch
Photos: Dipika Pallikal Karthik oozes oomph in bikinis and sarees
Photos: Kareena Kapoor Khan's grand birthday bash
Photos: 'Dangal' girls Sanya Malhotra, Fatima Sana Shaikh's dinner outing