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Morgan Freeman may have a habit of playing universally likable characters in movies, but remarks he made Friday calling the tea party racist have riled plenty of conservatives.
In an interview with Piers Morgan on his CNN show Friday night, the man who has portrayed civil rights crusaders from Frederick Douglass to Nelson Mandela to God said the GOP's tea party wing showed the "weak, dark underside of America."
He summarized the movement's opposition to Barack Obama's presidency thusly: "'Screw the country. We're going to do whatever we can to get this black man out of here.'"
Fundamentally, he said, the tea party is "a racist thing."
"We're supposed to be better than that," he added.
One of the Republican Party's most prominent black members, Herman Cain, wasn't too pleased by the comments. Cain called Morgan's claim "short-sighted" but said he was neither offended nor surprised by them.
Freeman's disdain for the tea party and his support for Obama and Democrats generally aren't news. In November, he was drawn into another political kerfuffle when the campaign manager for a tea party-affiliated Republican candidate for Congress in North Carolina claimed—wrongly—that the voice in the ad was Freeman's. (The candidate wound up losing to a Democrat.)
Aside from lambasting the tea party, Morgan Freeman just saw the release Friday of his new movie "Dolphin Tale," in which—perhaps tired of playing God—he plays a doctor who helps rehabilitate a rescued dolphin.