Morgan Freeman Gets Emotional While Receiving Deauville Film Fest Career Honor
“For reasons that are deeper than usual this year, I am grateful to receive this award,” the 'Dark Knight' actor said, seemingly referring to a CNN story that saw eight women accuse him of harassment and inappropriate behavior.
In his first festival appearance since he was accused of inappropriate behavior earlier this year, Morgan Freeman accepted a career tribute at the Deauville Film Festival on Friday.
Scores of fans lined up for hours to see the Oscar winner, who also received several standing ovations during the star-studded ceremony.
After an effusive speech by Cannes best actor winner Vincent Lindon, Freeman took to the stage to accept the award. In brief remarks, he teared up and seemingly acknowledged the accusations. “For reasons that are deeper than usual this year, I am grateful to receive this award,” he said.
At an earlier press conference, Freeman ignored a question regarding #MeToo and the press was instructed to keep the questions to his career.
In May, CNN published an explosive article accusing the actor of harassment and inappropriate behavior by eight women. Freeman apologized and vehemently denied the accusations in two statements. He subsequently asked CNN for a retraction, but the network stood by its reporting.
At the time, SAG-AFTRA said it was reconsidering his lifetime achievement award. The union announced Sept. 6 that it would not.
The 81-year-old did respond to a question about whether he has dealt with racism in Hollywood. “Throughout my career, no. Amazingly, I have landed roles that were absolutely not written for anyone black to play. But there I was doing it,” he said.
“Racism, it exists, but we watch television, we watch movies and we pay attention to what the actors are doing, then I think it's almost negligible except for certain areas of life. Can't make it clearer than that,” he added, leaving the audience slightly befuddled.
Later asked to share his thoughts about what is going on in the United States right now and if there are any words he would like to say to the president, he jokingly put the microphone down.
Following the press conference, Freeman cancelled some interviews, citing fatigue, as he had made a trip to the WWII landing beaches nearby in Normandy the previous day. However he did give an interview to Le Parisien newspaper, noting that on his third trip to the festival, one memory stands out: “The last time, I met a very sexy young woman. Sometimes it feels good to flirt, and I like that.”
Freeman will next appear in Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, due for release Nov. 2.