Shortly after Idris Elba was diagnosed with coronavirus, the actor immediately urged people to stop spreading the dangerous and unfounded rumor that Black people can’t get the coronavirus. If the internet thinks it’s going to start an apocalypse of conspiracies, Elba is here to cancel it. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only conspiracy theory that Elba finds himself shutting down.
In a fiery new social media message, Idris Elba has lashed out at conspiracy theorists that say celebrities like himself are being paid to pretend they have the coronavirus. In Elba’s latest Instagram Live video, he stresses that tests should be available for everyone, not just celebrities, but he’s also pushing back at “test-shaming.” The Wire actor also fired back at recent Internet suggestions that he’s being paid to pretend he tested positive:
“Test-shaming is, like, counterproductive. I don’t see what people get out of that. And also, like, this idea that someone like myself is gunna be paid to say I’ve got coronavirus — that’s absolute bullsh*t, such stupidness.”
Elba and his wife Sabrina, who has also tested positive for the coronavirus, have been chronicling their experience on social media, and one of the things that has alarmed the couple is that they are generally asymptomatic, which has made the spread of the pandemic such a concern. Many people are walking around with no idea that they even have COVID-19, and if they ever do find out, it’s too late for others they may have infected.
While the actor doesn’t specifically mention any conspiracy theory floater by name, CNN reports that Elba is likely referencing Cardi B’s recent wild theory about celebrities who say they tested positive for the virus, yet don’t show any symptoms. In the process of expressing her concerns, Cardi wondered whether there was an incentive for these actors to say that they are positive.
Within Cardi’s concerns — which arrive after she and a producer vowed to donate a remix’s proceeds to charity focused towards coronavirus — one can sense her frustration, given that this pandemic has far-reaching effects and financial impacts, including for artists. However, actors, athletes, and musicians have recently chosen to be tested after coming into contact with others who have tested positive. Given their public status, these celebrities often come into contact with a wide array of people, and testing only makes sense, given that it’s in everyone’s interest that the disease spreads to others as little as possible. Of course, it’s also in everyone’s interest for members of the general public to be tested.
Cardi B is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.