Idris Elba has described Cardi B’s suggestion celebrities are being paid to say they tested positive for coronavirus as “stupid”.
Elba, alongside his wife Sabrina and actors Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and Olga Kurylenko, is one of the most high-profile stars to publicly say they have been diagnosed with Covid-19.
Grammy Award-winning rapper Cardi B said in an Instagram Live broadcast that celebrities who say they have the illness sound like they are in a “Flat Tummy Tea commercial,” referring to detox products influencers are paid to promote online.
This morning I tested positive for Covid 19. I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus. Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how Iâm doing 👊🏾👊🏾 No panic. pic.twitter.com/Lg7HVMZglZ— Idris Elba (@idriselba) March 16, 2020
Elba has now responded during a live stream of his own. “I think the negativity around ‘test shaming’ is counterproductive,” the Luther star said.
“I don’t see what people get out of that. Also this idea that someone like myself is going to be paid to say I’ve got coronavirus, that’s, like, absolute bullshit, such stupidness.”
“People want to spread that as if it’s news. It’s stupid,” Elba, 47, said. “It’s the quickest way to get people sick that way.
“There’s no benefit to me and Sabrina sitting here saying we’ve got it or we ain’t got it. I don’t even understand the logic of that.”
Cardi B, 27, clarified her comments in a separate video, captioned “I said what I said”.
She said celebrities without symptoms who say they have tested positive for coronavirus are causing “confusion” for the public, many of whom do not have the luxury to retreat to a large house to isolate.
“People live in small ass apartments with multiple people,” Cardi B said.
In an expletive-filled address, the Bronx-born musician also hit out at the lack of tests available and criticised Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic.