Morgan Freeman Says He Is ‘Sexist,’ But Not ‘Misogynist’ & We’re Not Sure What He Means By That
At a panel dicussion at the Producer’s Guild of America on Saturday, Morgan Freeman said that he’s a sexist, but not a misogynist. Hold up, what? Yes, it turns out that the voice of God is sort of an asshole. Here’s the context, just so we can be fair: Freeman was on-stage with Lori McCreary, with whom he co-founded Revelations Entertainment, a production company. As the panel goes on, Freeman recalls their first meeting, specifically that she had a dress on “up to here,” gesturing at his thigh. Then he described McCreary’s work ethic. “She doesn’t want to be thought of as a pretty face. She wants to be thought of as serious. But you can’t get away from the short dresses.” The moderator, Michael Gordon, interrupted the actor and attempted to help him save face, but Freeman just kept digging that hole.
Gordon suggested that what Freeman was saying about the female producer and his co-worker that was sitting right next to him was sexist. Freeman responded “Sexist? Yeah, but I’m not misogynistic.”
For what it’s worth, McCreary didn’t seem to mind and admitted that, although she is the boss at office, she does have more “female” qualities, like gathering people together and all that bullshit (I am female and I never want to be around people, so maybe there’s something wrong with my estrogen levels).
Technically, there is a linguistic distinction between being a “sexist” and a “misogynist.” Misogyny is a hatred, dislike, and prejudice against women. Sexism is just judging, discriminating against women (or anyone) based on their gender. Freeman doesn’t hate women because he looooooves how they look in short dresses. But he does just assume things about women and their capabilities because they have vaginas.
Really, it’s a kind of a chicken or the egg situation. If you assume that all a female business partner can bring to the table is a good dinner or find yourself leering at them at a business meeting because her skirt is above her knee, that’s sexist. But that comes from a misogynist place, because objectifying a woman is hateful. You can’t have one without the other. Sorry, Morgan.
Also, think about the fact that “she wants to be seen as serious” (emphasis all mine). It’s not really clear whether or not he actually takes her seriously in that statement. His admission also puts some of his “friendly smooching” recently into a new light. He basically groped – probably consensually – Marcia Gay Harden on a red carpet recently and kisses first lady Michelle Obama in greeting. Maybe he’s dating Harden and he’s just friendly with the Obamas — or he’s one of those touchy-feely-grabby men and women have to smile for the cameras when he’s doing it.
Morgan Freeman is 79-years old. While I do hope he lives a long and fulfilling life, it’s too late to tell him that women don’t exist for him to love up on. But maybe there’s hope that his opinions on gender roles and short dresses are a generational thing — one that’s almost at the end of its line.