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FLASHBACK: Morgan Freeman on Ending Racism: ‘Stop Talking About It’ -- Black History Month is 'Ridiculous'

By Michael W. Chapman | August 5, 2020 | 11:45am EDT

 

 
Academy Award winning actor Morgan Freeman.  (Getty Images)
Academy Award winning actor Morgan Freeman. (Getty Images)

Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman, who endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008, said that having a Black History Month was “ridiculous” and that the best way to end racism today is to “stop talking about it.”

Freeman, known for his roles in The Shawshank Redemption, Unforgiven, and Million Dollar Baby, made his remarks in a December 2005 interview with Mike Wallace of CBS’ 60 Minutes. In the profile of Freeman, Wallace remarked that the actor/director’s “political views are at times surprising,” and then asked Freeman, “Black History Month, you find?”

Freeman said, “Ridiculous.”

When Wallace asked, “Why?” Freeman said, “You’re going to relegate my history to a month?” The exchange continued:

Wallace: “Oh, come on.”

Freeman: What do you do with yours? Which month is white history month? No, come on, tell me.”

Wallace: “Well, I'm Jewish.”

Freeman: “Okay. Which month is Jewish history month?”

Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood in the Academy Award winning film "Unforgiven." (YouTube)
Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood in the Academy Award winning film "Unforgiven." (YouTube)

Wallace:  “There isn't one.”

Freeman: “ Oh. Oh, why not? Do you want one?”

Wallace:  “No. No.”

Freeman:  “I don't either. I don't want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.”

Wallace:  “How are we going to get rid of racism and ….?”

Freeman:  “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. I know you as Mike Wallace. You know me as Morgan Freeman. You want to say, `Well, I know this white guy named Mike Wallace.' You know what I'm saying?”

Wallace:  “Mm-hmm.”

Freeman: “Jewish guy. I have a lot of – some of my best friends are Jewish. Okay?”

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

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