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Morgan Freeman finds SAG Awards statue gender-specific

IANS | Los Angeles |

Veteran Hollywood star Morgan Freeman, who accepted the life achievement award at the 24th annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, called out the gender-specific statue, thereby touching upon the industry’s gender inequality debate.

“I wasn’t going to do this; I’m going to tell you what’s wrong with this statue. It works from the back, but from the front, it’s gender specific. Maybe I started something,” Freeman said at the gala on Sunday night, reports

After getting a standing ovation, Freeman took the stage and said: “This is beyond honour, this is a place in history.”

He thanked the organisers, his children, his business partner, his life partner, and his long-time friend Rita Moreno, who presented Freeman the honour. She said the two have known each other for almost 50 years, having first worked together on the 1971 educational children’s series “The Electric Company.”

“Morgan is way more than just an actor, narrator, producer, humanitarian. This man is a national treasure. Morgan likes to say that if you become a star, people are going to go see you. And if you remain an actor, they’re going to go and see the story you’re in,” Moreno said.

The 80-year-old said that he once thought, “your mouth has shut your career down”, after losing role after role for being outspoken about how African-Americans and other minorities were depicted in the scripts he was reading.

“I want to change people’s attitudes. About black people, about us as Americans. About America itself,” he told Variety.

Freeman is the 54th recipient of the SAG life achievement prize, awarded to an actor annually for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment. Other honourees have included Lily Tomlin, Carol Burnett, Debbie Reynolds, Dick Van Dyke, and Mary Tyler Moore.