Why Do People Hate Morgan Freeman?

Morgan Freeman is one of the most acclaimed and beloved actors in Hollywood. With an illustrious career spanning over 50 years, Freeman has starred in some of the most popular and critically-praised films of all time.

However, despite his immense talent and charming screen presence, Freeman has faced backlash and criticism from some groups over the years. Here is an in-depth look at some of the reasons why Morgan Freeman has detractors.

Controversial Comments

One of the main sources of animosity towards Morgan Freeman stems from controversial comments he has made regarding race and politics.

Comments About Black History Month

In 2005, Freeman made headlines when he criticized Black History Month, stating:

“I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.”

Some felt these comments were dismissive of the importance of Black History Month in celebrating and recognizing the achievements of African Americans throughout history. The comments sparked intense debate, with some interpreting them as Freeman downplaying the discrimination and marginalization of black people in America.

Perceived Conservative Leanings

Freeman has also drawn ire for expressing views perceived to be conservative-leaning regarding race issues in America. In a 2012 interview with NPR, he remarked:

“I think we need to get over it. Stop talking about it. I’m going to stop calling you a white man, and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man.”

Some accused Freeman of making false equivalences between the black and white experiences in America. Critics argued that Freeman’s own success and wealth blinded him to the racial inequities still facing much of the black community.

Sexual Harassment Allegations

In May 2018, Freeman was accused of sexual harassment by eight women who had worked with him professionally. The allegations included unwanted touching and sexually suggestive comments on movie sets and during promotions.

Freeman issued an apology after the allegations came out, stating:

“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected.”

However, the damage to Freeman’s reputation had already been done. While he maintained that it was never his intent to make women feel uncomfortable, many felt his behavior was part of a larger culture of sexism in Hollywood. The allegations turned some former fans and admirers against Freeman.

Perceived Arrogance

Another complaint that has been leveled against Morgan Freeman over the years is that he comes across as arrogant or difficult to work with. Some collaborators have described him as imposing, serious, and tough to approach.

Freeman has even acknowledged in interviews that he can be “difficult” at times. Critics say that this attitude makes him seem ungrateful or dismissive towards fans and coworkers who helped him achieve his success.

Whether due to controversial statements, legal troubles, or personality flaws, Morgan Freeman elicits stronger negative reactions from some segments of the public than most beloved actors.

However, he remains admired by many for his iconic voice and screen performances. The reasons people dislike Freeman show that even the most acclaimed stars are human, with complex opinions and flaws like anyone else.

Morgan Freeman’s Career and Awards

Despite detractors, there is no denying the immense impact Morgan Freeman has had in the world of film and entertainment. He is one of the most decorated and successful actors of the past several decades.

Early Career Beginnings

  • Born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1937
  • First major role was in the 1971 film Who Says I Can’t Ride a Rainbow?
  • Nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in The Mighty Gents Broadway play in 1978
  • Won first major awards for his work in television films like The Marva Collins Story and The Atlanta Child Murders in the early 1980s

Breakout in Major Motion Pictures

  • Critical acclaim for 1987’s Street Smart earned Freeman his first Oscar nomination
  • Rose to international fame with prominent roles in films like Glory (1989), Unforgiven (1992), and The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  • Renowned for his performances in the Batman trilogy, Million Dollar Baby (2004), Invictus (2009), and many other popular movies

Prestigious Honors and Milestones

  • Became the first African-American actor to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Million Dollar Baby in 2005
  • Awarded the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in 2008 in recognition of his contributions to American culture
  • Received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in cinema at the 2012 Golden Globes
  • Earned his fifth Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 2018’s Invictus
  • His iconic voice has been used in countless narration roles including March of the Penguins and The Long Way Down

Freeman’s filmography and accolades cement him as a true icon of American cinema over the last 50 years. His success and honors span across film, television, and even the Broadway stage.

Morgan Freeman’s Philanthropy and Activism

In addition to his acting work, Freeman is known for his philanthropy and social activism over the course of his career.

The Rock River Foundation

  • Founded The Rock River Foundation, a non-profit supporting arts education and cultural enrichment programs for youth
  • The foundation provides grants to schools and educational institutions to support youth theater, music, and dance programs

Advocacy and Aid Efforts

  • Spokesperson for advocacy campaigns supporting teachers and improving education in the U.S.
  • Traveled to Mississippi and Louisiana to aid Hurricane Katrina victims and highlight ongoing rebuilding efforts
  • Public service announcements encouraging parents to read to their children to promote literacy

Producer and Narrator for Socially-Conscious Films

  • Produced and narrated films exploring pressing social issues like climate change and racial injustice
  • Narrated the IMAX documentary The March of the Penguins, highlighting threats to the Antarctic penguin habitat

Political and Leadership Appointments

  • Served on the Advisory Council for the Science and Entertainment Exchange, advising entertainers on science-related content
  • Appointed in 2013 to the Advisory Council of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis

Freeman has leveraged his celebrity status to promote educational and social causes close to his heart throughout his public life. His philanthropic track record undercuts claims that he is arrogant or aloof.

Table: Morgan Freeman Movies by Genre

GenreExample Movies
DramaThe Shawshank Redemption, Million Dollar Baby, Driving Miss Daisy
ActionThe Dark Knight, Wanted, Hard Rain
BiographyInvictus, The March of the Penguins, The True Story of Glory Continues
WarGlory, The True Story of Glory Continues
Fantasy & Sci-FiDolphin Tale 2, Lucy, Oblivion
RomanceMoll Flanders, Feast of Love, 5 Flights Up
ThrillerAlong Came a Spider, Lucky Number Slevin
ComedyBruce Almighty, The Bucket List, RED
AnimationThe Lego Movie, The Long Way Home
DocumentaryThe March of the Penguins, Island of Lemurs, We the People

Freeman has showcased his versatility by starring in top films across nearly every major genre. His distinctive voice and gravitas lend themselves well to narrating documentaries and animated features. He continues to take on diverse roles in his 80s.

FAQ About Criticisms of Morgan Freeman

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the controversies and criticisms surrounding Morgan Freeman:

Why did Morgan Freeman oppose Black History Month?

In 2005 interviews, Freeman criticized Black History Month, saying he wanted black history to be part of overall American history. Some saw this as dismissing a month that celebrates marginalized stories. Freeman argued that relegating black history isolated it from being understood as an integral American narrative.

Did the sexual harassment allegations hurt Freeman’s reputation?

The 2018 allegations significantly impacted public perception of Freeman. While he denied intentional wrongdoing, many saw the reports as confirmation of sexist behaviors in the industry. However, no legal actions were ultimately taken against Freeman. He remains a working actor, but some view him warily in the #MeToo era.

Is Morgan Freeman arrogant based on interviews and reports?

Some collaborators and co-stars have described Freeman as difficult, imposing, and arrogant at times. However, many accounts also characterize him as kind, passionate, and generous. Numerous collaborators have praised his professionalism and dedication, contradicting arrogance claims.

Has Morgan Freeman won more awards than any other black actor?

Freeman became the first black actor to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2005 for Million Dollar Baby. He also received Kennedy Center Honors in 2008. However, other black actors including Denzel Washington and Sidney Poitier have won more prestigious awards over their careers.

How has Freeman given back to communities as a philanthropist?

Freeman has supported various social causes, including founding the Rock River Foundation to provide arts education grants. He also aided Hurricane Katrina victims, advocated for teachers and literacy, and produced films highlighting climate change and civil rights. His philanthropic work aims to provide opportunities and uplift disadvantaged groups.


In conclusion, Morgan Freeman provokes strong reactions from some due to his candid opinions on racial politics, allegations against him amid the #MeToo movement, and his perceived arrogance and difficult personality with co-workers. However, these criticisms must be weighed against his undeniably superb acting talents, extensive career accomplishments, and charitable endeavors.

While Freeman has exhibited some controversial behavior and opinions, he remains one of the most versatile, acclaimed, and decorated African American actors of the past 50 years. For many fans, his iconic voice and screen presence have made an indelible mark on cinema history. Yet he is still a flawed human being whose missteps have rubbed some detractors the wrong way.

Overall, Morgan Freeman is a complex public figure who elicits both admiration and criticism – sometimes even simultaneously. Reconciling his human flaws with his creative genius and activist philanthropy is key to having a balanced view of the renowned yet polarizing actor.

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