In a rare new interview with British newspaper the Sunday time, Oscar winner Morgan Freeman explains why he objects to the term “African-American”, and why it is “insult” to limit teaching Black history to just one month.
In the interview, Freeman, 85, was asked about his past comments, in a 2005 interview with CBS’s Mike Wallace, about how not talking about race could help end racism.
“Two things I can say publicly that I don’t like: Black History Month is an insult. You’re going to bring my history down to a month? Freeman responded.
“Also ‘African-American’ is an insult,” he added. “I don’t subscribe to that title. Black people have different titles since the n-word and I don’t know how these things got so gripping, but everyone uses ‘African American. ‘What does that actually mean?’
He continued, “Most black people in this part of the world are mongrels. And you say Africa as if it’s a country when it’s a continent, like Europe,” comparing this to people of European heritage that certain countries refer to, such as being Irish-American or Italian-American.
When interviewer Jonathan Dean mentioned fellow actor Denzel Washington, and his statement, “I’m very proud to be black, but I’m not really black,” Washington echoed the sentiment.
“Yeah, that’s right. I totally agree,” Freeman shared. “You can’t define me like that.” He also noted that he is “very jealous of Denzel’s career, because he does what I want to do.”
Freeman, who is currently in the role with Florence Pugh Good personwent on to discuss how things had changed since he first started acting in the 1960s, rising from minor stage roles to beloved children’s programs. Electricity company. He believes the industry has become more inclusive, noting that for a long time the roles of black actors were typically comedic “When I was growing up, there was no ‘I’ in movies,” he shares.
“The change is that everyone is involved now,” Freeman added. “Everyone. LGBTQ, Asian, Black, white, interracial marriage, interracial relations. All represented. You see it all on screens now and it’s a huge leap.”
The actor also thought about where he would end up if he didn’t find success in Hollywood.
“People ask, ‘What are you going to do if you don’t make it?’ I don’t know,” he said. “Driving a limo? But I’ll be at the community theater. I will act. But along with guts it also takes luck. You need some serious courage and luck. I credit my career with both.