The screen icon discussed police brutality and the televised news media’s coverage of the Baltimore protests in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death while in police custody.
“F-ck the media.”
I’m seated across from Morgan Freeman, the Oscar-winning acting legend, discussing his latest film Five Flights Up. One of the through lines of the movie, a sweet little rom-com also starring Diane Keaton, is a young Muslim man whose truck has been stopped by the NYPD on a bridge. A televised standoff ensues, with media figures and the public wildly speculating about the cause of the stop. Most, as is their wont, immediately jump to the “he has a bomb” conclusion.
“Isn’t that always happening?” says Freeman of the media’s penchant for unsubstantiated, biased conjecture during live news events. “Look at MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN. Go between those three. There’s a take, there’s a take, and there’s a take. It’s just commentary. CNN wants to be pure news, but the others are just commentary. They’re just commenting on things.”
Which brings us to the TV news media’s coverage of the Baltimore protests in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American who was arrested on April 19 for possession of a switchblade. He was later found dead while in police custody, having sustained injuries to his spinal cord and larynx.
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