Morgan Freeman made headlines at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards—and not just because he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award to honor his long and successful career in movies like Million Dollar Baby, Glory, and Shawshank Redemption. Freeman caused buzz during his SAG Awards acceptance speech for his outfit and for his critique of the award itself.
Morgan Freeman was decked to the nines in a black tuxedo as he took the stage to accept the prestigious award from longtime pal Rita Moreno, but the 80-year-old actor topped his ensemble off with a black baseball cap. According to TV Guide, Moreno, who was presented with the same SAG Award by Freeman five years ago, told the actor to lift up his hat so the audience could see his face.
“Morgan, Morgan!” Moreno demanded. “Lift up your hat! There we go. Now we can see you.”
Freeman responded by pointing his finger at Moreno and telling the crowd, “You have no idea how long I had to put up with that.”
Morgan Freeman and Rita Moreno’s friendship goes back to the early 1970s when they starred together on the PBS children’s television series The Electric Company.
It’s no surprise that Morgan Freeman’s unconventional awards show headgear had social media buzzing. Many fans took to Twitter to question why Morgan would wear a baseball cap with his tuxedo. Some fans concluded Morgan Freeman can pretty much do whatever he wants because he’s Morgan Freeman.
Morgan Freeman’s baseball cap wasn’t the only notable part of his acceptance speech at the SAG Awards. While he was given a special Lifetime Achievement version of the award, Freeman made a point of calling out the gender-specific trophy that is handed out to most of the award recipients. The bronze SAG Award trophy depicts a naked male figure holding a mask of comedy and a mask of tragedy. The 16-inch trophy is called “The Actor.”
“I’m going to tell you what’s wrong with this statue,” Freeman said. “It works from the back; from the front, it’s gender-specific.”
As a bonus, Morgan Freeman even halted his SAG speech to seemingly call out someone in the crowd for not paying attention.
Morgan Freeman concluded his SAG Awards speech by calling for a change in the entertainment industry towards gender equality. You can see Freeman’s full speech below.