This year, at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Award, Morgan Freeman received one of the highest honours in Hollywood. Honourably accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award for his storied acting career, he graced the stage like he always does, in a memorable way. With everyone in the crowd on their feet, he made his way onto the stage, which was kicked off with a standing ovation. He immediately made his presence known, cracking a couple of jokes as he casually approached his honourable moment. Before beginning his speech, he was interrupted by Rita Moreno, who was there to return the favour and award him with the same award that he presented to her in 2014. She wanted him to fix his hat so that the world could properly see him as he prepared to address the crowd. Just a few short words in, Morgan decided he was taking no prisoners during his moment of recognition.
Upon getting into his acceptance speech, the king of film noticed an individual chatting away, and decided to shut them down in front of the audience. Although he was gentle with his approach, he made it clear that this person stood out, and reclaimed the crowd’s focus that he deserves. Finally, he began with the speech that the crowd and viewers worldwide were wide-eyed and open-eared.
He decided to keep the thank you’s to a minimum and recognize the immediate family and friends who were in attendance for his big moment. With his majestic presence, he decided to take this opportunity to address an issue that he felt passionately about, to perhaps inspire a change.
“I wasn’t going to do this, I’m going to tell you what’s wrong with this statue,” he said, as he pointed to the Screen Actors Guild Award statue. “It works from the back. From the front, it’s gender-specific. Maybe I started something,” he concluded. The crowd let out a round of applause, appreciating what was brought up at this time. Morgan used his voice and power to call out the federation, hoping to inspire a change in this matter for future award ceremonies.
To date, Morgan has received two Golden Globes, an Oscar, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, among a plethora of honours since he stepped into the entertainment industry. Furthermore, he’s been widely regarded as a humanitarian for his efforts to break down racial barriers in the world. Starring in iconic films such as The Shawshank Redemption, Million Dollar Baby, Deep Impact, and The Dark Knight, just to name a few, Morgan has been at the helm of the industry since the age of 50.
Fellow recipients of this honorary award include Debbie Reynolds, Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, and Lily Tomlin. He is the 54th recipient of the prestigious award, which is given to actors and actresses annually for career achievement, and humanitarian accomplishment. “This is beyond [an] honour. This is a place in history,” he said.
It’s been a long time coming for the legendary actor, who continues to grace the screens and make his mark in the acting world. “Morgan is way more than just an actor, narrator, producer, humanitarian. This man is a national treasure” Rita Moreno said, as she introduced him to the stage. With his powerful voice and his illustrious presence, there is no doubt that this honour won’t be his last, and that he will continue to inspire the world as he has done from the start.
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