Morgan Freeman had some strong words for the cable news media regarding their coverage of the unrest in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri. Freeman is currently promoting his new film Five Flights Up, a romantic comedy with Diane Keaton that also features a plot line which, according to The Daily Beast, involves a young Muslim man, the NYPD, and a very typical media reaction to their encounter (they paint him as a terrorist).
When this came up during an interview with The Daily Beast, Freeman used it to get some feelings off his chest about how Fox News, MSNBC, and other media entities cover the events we’re seeing in Baltimore, Ferguson, and other places around the country. The gist of the interview with Marlow Stern? “F*ck the media:”
“Now, they’re getting more of the whole picture. Ferguson? No. Baltimore seems to be coming up with a different scenario in the background,” says Freeman. “People are saying, ‘You were not all there when we were just talking and trying to make a point, but if we set something on fire, all of a sudden you’re all here. Why is that? What’s the difference?’ And some young reporters are listening. That sort of observation is very useful.”
“The other thing is that technology lets us see behind the scenes a little bit better,” he continues. “Police have a standard reaction to shooting somebody. I fear for my life and I fear for my safety. Now, at least you can see, ‘Hey, his hands were up in the air! What part of your safety were you afraid of? The guy was running away, what part of your safety was in danger?’ There was one situation I saw where a cop told a guy to get out of the car, said, ‘Show me your driver’s license,’ and the guy reached back into the car and the cop shot him!”
Freeman does note during the interview that the Baltimore coverage has improved over what we’ve seen before, but there’s still a lot of issues that pop up. And even though he mentions CNN as wanting to cover “pure news,” it’s hard to look past their desire to cover every riot moment during the Ferguson protests. They even had a helicopter AND Don Lemon on the ground.
Meanwhile on The Science Channel, Freeman is still going strong with Through The Wormhole and tackling the topic of bigotry and bias in people all across the globe. An interesting and timely topic. Here’s a look: