Has James Bond Gone Woke?

Pete Weishaupt
2 min readSep 9, 2023

It looks like it. In the latest incarnation, Bond trades in his martini for a kombucha and is offended by an evil-doer gathering he attends that is exclusively male. In addition he disapproves of villains who haven’t diversified their minions: “There was not even a pretense at diversity here. Aethelstan hadn’t been the least bit concerned about ensuring that half of the people he’d hired to carry out his coup should be women, non-white, or disabled.” Another villain is a former politician kicked out of his party for an “anti-trans diatribe”. This villain “was famous for promoting covid/vaccine/mask-wearing/5G conspiracy theories…” and being a “Climate Change Denier”. (I applaud the author for linking 5G to mask-wearing in one fell swoop.)

Charlie Higson, author of the latest Bond novel commissioned by the Ian Fleming Estate, “On His Majesty’s Secret Service”, defended his portrayal of Bond on social media claiming, “a contemporary 35-year-old is likely to be more ‘woke’ than one from 1952. I didn’t want him to be Jacob Rees-Mogg with a gun.”

The whole idea of fiction is to live vicariously through characters doing things we couldn’t, or wouldn’t, dream of doing. After all, Bond has a “license to kill”. Sadly, they’ve turned James Bond into a simp. What’s next for Bond, competing in women’s sports?

But I’ll let Higson have the last word, “Fleming books still exist. All the films still exist. If someone writes a new book, or makes a film, looking at Bond in a different light, it doesn’t alter the past or somehow cause the other stuff to disintegrate. If you don’t like it, ignore it and move on.”