In a new interview with The Sunday Times, the 85-year-old actor once again broached the topic, telling the publication, “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?”
He continued, explaining that the second thing he doesn’t like is the term African American, which he also views as an “insult.”
“I don’t subscribe to that title,” Freeman explained. “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? 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.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Freeman discussed how progress in America encouraged him to pursue a career in acting. “When I was growing up there was no ‘me’ in the movies,” he said. “If there was a Black man in a movie he was funny. Until Sidney Poitier came and gave young people like me the idea that, ‘OK, yes, I can do that.’”
Though the struggle for equality will always exist, he explained that the ethnic and racial makeup of the entertainment industry has become more inclusive. “All people are involved now,” he said. “Everyone. LGBTQ, Asians, Black, white, interracial marriages, interracial relationships. All represented. You see them all on screen now and that is a huge jump.”
Freeman most recently starred in the film A Good Person opposite Florence Pugh and directed by Zach Braff. The film follows Allison (Pugh) who develops a friendship with her would-be father-in-law, Daniel (Freeman) while she recovers from a fatal accident. The movie also stars Molly Shannon, Chinaza Uche, and Celeste O’Connor.