Morgan Freeman on 'The Gray House,' Critiques Black History Month

Morgan Freeman Critiques Black History Month in Candid Interview.

by Nouman Rasool
Morgan Freeman on 'The Gray House,' Critiques Black History Month
© Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Morgan Freeman is outspoken against the concept of Black History Month, critiquing its placement in the shortest month and its segmentation from the broader American narrative. "The mere idea of it... You are going to give me the shortest month in a year? And you are going to celebrate 'my' history?!

This whole idea makes my teeth itch. It's not right," Freeman expressed in an interview with Variety. His sentiment underscores a profound belief: "My history is American history." In the midst of promoting "The Gray House," a Civil War series he executive produced with Lori McCreary through Revelations Entertainment, Freeman's thoughts are heavily influenced by historical reflection.

"If you don't know your past, if you don't remember it, you are bound to repeat it," he remarks, adding weight to his words in an election year. The series, inspired by actual events, delves into the lives of four Southern women during the Civil War who engaged in espionage for the Union—highlighting a narrative often overlooked.

The timing seems apt for historical dramas as Kevin Costner, another executive producer of "The Gray House," premiered "Horizon" at Cannes, suggesting a renewed interest in American sagas. "It must be because here we are," Freeman notes, discussing the current landscape of showbusiness and storytelling.

Freeman's Monte-Carlo Triumph

At the recent Monte-Carlo Television Festival, Freeman's contributions were recognized as he received the Crystal Nymph Award. Paramount Global Content Distribution manages the series' distribution, which opened the festival.

"The Gray House" not only revisits but enriches the historical context by focusing on diverse narratives. "It's so wide-ranging. There are so many people in the series because we are acknowledging they were there," Freeman states, emphasizing the inclusivity of the story.

McCreary echoes Freeman's vision, stressing the importance of learning from history to foster a brighter future. Despite the show's grim reminders of violence and the harsh realities of enslavement, it aims to promote understanding and empathy among viewers.

"We are not white-washing, we are not sugar-coating the fact that African Americans were enslaved," she clarifies. A pivotal figure in the series is Mary Jane Richards, a woman with a photographic memory who risked her life to spy on the Confederate White House.

Her story, largely unrecognized in historical texts, is a testament to the untold stories of many who shaped history discreetly. Freeman and McCreary's commitment to telling these stories is driven by a belief in the power of narrative to educate and transform perceptions.

"The more people like Morgan and I can tell our own stories – because nobody else will – the more we'll understand that women are everything. We are housewives, mothers, scientists. And spies!" McCreary concludes by highlighting the multifaceted roles women play in shaping history.