Posted on April 6, 2011

Q&A: Morgan Freeman on New Film and Race in Hollywood

Ronke Idowu Reeves, BET, April 4, 2011

The veteran actor has tough talk for Blacks crying foul in Tinseltown.

{snip} The 73-year-old Batman Begins star once again lends his authorative, smooth narrative voice to the big screen for the IMAX documentary Born to Be Wild 3D. The film highlights the lifelong work of two women who run animal orphanages in Southeast Asia and Kenya.


What’s your take on what’s been dubbed as the Black men blackout, i.e. the lack of African-American actors on stage, at this year’s Oscars?

I think we need to get over that s–t. How many Chinese do you see? You don’t see them out marching and s–t. Oh God please. I think. . . . We need to get over it, that’s all.

Have you ever felt pressure to represent your people in a certain way in any of your films?

I don’t have any “my people.” I never had to deal with that part of my thing. Once, I straightened my hair when I was doing The Electric Company, and this woman comes up to me and says, “You . . . you . . . shouldn’t!” And I said, “Hold it. You don’t dictate my image. Get away from me.” And another one said, “But you’re a black man!” And I said, “Oh? Do tell!” After I played the president in Deep Impact, somebody said to me, “How does it feel to play a Black president?” And I was like, “Whoa, whoa. I didn’t play a ‘Black’ president. I played the president.” I don’t have to play Black.