Actor Morgan Freeman claims Black History Month is ‘an insult,’ along with the term ‘African-American’

Morgan Freeman, one of the most widely renowned and accomplished actors of color in the history of movies spoke out about Black History Month as well as the label “African-American,” both of which he finds to be insulting, in candid comments made during an interview with one of Britain’s top newspapers.

The 85-year-old Oscar winner star sat down with the Times of London for a wide-ranging discussion that included his being asked for his take on the annual monthlong celebration of blackness that takes place in February, a concept that he finds to be offensive due to its limitations.

‘Two things I can say publicly that I do not like: Black History Month is an insult. You’re going to relegate my history to a month?’ Freeman asked.

The beloved star of “The Shawshank Redemption” who once portrayed South African leader Nelson Mandela on screen in Clint Eastwood’s 2009 film “Invictus” for which he was recognized with a Best Actor nomination, has been consistent in his disapproval of Black History Month, calling it “ridiculous” in a 2005 “60 Minutes” interview, stunning legendary newsman Mike Wallace.

(Video: YouTube)

Freeman also slammed the label “African-American” in his interview with the Sunday Times.

“Also African-American is an insult. I don’t subscribe to that title,” Freeman said. “Black people have had different titles all the way back to the n-word and I do not know how these things get such a grip, but everyone uses African-American. What does it really mean?”

“What does it really mean? Most black people in this part of the world are mongrels,” he added. “And you say Africa as if it’s a country when it’s a continent, like Europe.”

Freeman also told the outlet that he was inspired in his youth by seeing Sidney Poitier on the screen, the first black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for his 1963 role in “Lilies of the Field” during the height of the civil rights era, who would later star in such iconic classics as “In the Heat of the Night” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” both released during the tumultuous 1960s when the nation was coming to grips with REAL racism, not the watered-down version that fuels the modern social justice movement.

He recalled the time that he met the legendary actor in person years later, “I spoke with Sidney way back. He said, ‘I wanted to be like you.’”

For Freeman though, the actor that he said he would have most wanted to be is Denzel Washington. “I am so very envious of Denzel’s career because he’s doing what I wanted to do”

Last year, the actor was slammed for his gig to narrate the opening of the FIFA World Cup tournament that was held in Qatar, hardly a bastion of human rights.

Freeman’s film career includes “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Bruce Almighty,” “Seven,” and “Unforgiven” as well as a recurring role as Lucius Fox, executive vice president of Wayne Enterprises in Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” Batman trilogy. He won the Best Supporting Actor statue for his role in Clint Eastwood’s 2004 boxing drama “Million Dollar Baby,” one of his several collaborations with the legendary actor/director.


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Chris Donaldson


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