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Idris Elba has spoken candidly about the “traumatic” effects of being diagnosed with coronavirus.

The Luther actor revealed in March that he had tested positive for Covid-19. His wife, Sabrina Dhowre Elba, also tested positive for the novel strain of coronavirus. At the time, he reassured fans that he felt “OK” and said he had no symptoms.

Now Elba has confirmed that he remained asymptomatic and “didn’t get the major symptoms everyone else got.” However, he also told Radio Times that “mentally, it hit me very bad, because a lot was unknown about it.”

“I felt very compelled to speak about it, just because it was such an unknown,” he added. “So the mental impact of that on both myself and my wife was pretty traumatic.”

Elba also disclosed that he “needed the lockdown” in order to “get over it,” noting: “And it turns out the world actually probably needed the lockdown, too.”

During the same interview, which appears in full in the latest print issue of Radio Times, Elba also shared his thoughts on old TV shows with racist themes being pulled from streaming services.

“To mock the truth, you have to know the truth,” he said. “But to censor racist themes within a show, to pull it – wait a second, I think viewers should know that people made shows like this.”

Explaining that he believes these shows should remain accessible – but with a content warning – Elba continued: “Out of respect for the time and the movement, commissioners and archive-holders pulling things they think are exceptionally tone-deaf at this time – fair enough and good for you. But I think, moving forward, people should know that freedom of speech is accepted, but the audience should know what they’re getting into.”

“I don’t believe in censorship,” he added. “I believe that we should be allowed to say what we want to say. Because, after all, we’re story-makers.”

What do you think about Idris Elba’s interview?

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Filed Under: Idris Elba
By Nick Levine