Morgan Freeman, Cultural Shifts, And The Dirty Old Man’s Dilemma

I wondered how it was that Morgan Freeman, black, progressive, a Barack Obama enthusiast and the owner of a squeaky clean image, was hit with career- and reputation-endangering accusations of “inappropriate conduct” that were on balance far, far less alarming than the borderline or outright criminal offenses claimed by the victims of most of the #MeToo targets. Now we know: Morgan Freeman, then 79 , was interviewed by a young, attractive CNN reporter before the Harvey Weinstein story broke. The actor made creepy, sexually suggestive comments to her, and they bothered her as she continued to consider them during her maternity leave, which began soon after the interview. When she returned, Harvey Weinstein had been exposed, #MeToo was in full swing, and the reporter, Chloe Melas, had a new and unexpected male celebrity to investigate and perhaps take down.

This does not appear to be another example of a vicious abuser whom the Weinstein story allowed to finally meet justice after years of victimizing those who came within his sphere of power. All of the claims against Freeman are garden variety dumb, blundering sexual harassment without malice, almost exclusively by the spoken word. Although the news accounts mention “unwanted touching,” the only description of such touching involves Freeman touching a woman’s skirt and threatening to lift it. There have been no “groping” accusations, at least not yet.

Never mind. The allegations so far have already harmed, probably irreparably, the Academy Award-winning actor’s career. Visa has dropped him as its long-time spokesman. Honors he has received are being reconsidered. More penalties are sure to come.

Freeman issued a clumsy, non-apology apology, saying,

“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”

It’s a poor apology, but I believe him. He never intended to make anyone uncomfortable, and it didn’t occur to him that any woman would make a big deal out of being—from his perspective—flirted with, even naughtily, by a very old man and iconic movie star. In this, he falls not in the ugly Cosby, Harvey, Kevin, Matt and Charlie category but into the sadder George H.W. Bush class, which I will call “The Dirty Old Men Division.”

You will recall that the nonagenarian ex-President, confined to a wheelchair and less of a sexual threat at this stage of his life than a Teletubby, was a minor #MeToo subject when it was revealed that he had fallen into the bad habit of pinching and groping young, nubile female behinds when they came into his limited reach during photo ops, and making a suggestive, stunningly-dumb joke  along with it, that his favorite magician was “David Cop-a-Feel.”

It is important to remember that in the days when Bush and Freeman were young, and indeed not all that young, old men being frisky with young woman was considered normal, typical, natural, humorous, even cute, and absolutely benign. I could post dozens of YouTube clips of movies and TV shows as well as cartoons making light of this conduct, which was once treated as a privilege of old age. The idea was that since the poor old geezers couldn’t do anything any more, women were happy to let them pretend.

It was always wrong, of course, like a lot of customs and traditions that we look back on now and wonder, “What the hell were people thinking?”  It was always disrespectful and presumptuous. That doesn’t change the fact that the “harmless dirty old man” routine was a cultural norm of centuries’ standing, and one that changed very rapidly just a few decades ago. Thus not one but two changing social norms of long-standing were behind Freeman’s misbehavior: sexual harassment of women in the workplace generally, which was not even a widely recognized concept until the 1980s and not understood by the general public until even later (The Clarence Thomas hearings were in 1991), and the cultural good will pass given to “frisky grandpa,” which has just sort of faded away, like the myths that drunks are funny and women are bad drivers.

Freeman was 54 in 1991. I hate to say that it’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks, but norms and accepted behavior that one has grown up with and gone through middle age with are not easy to alter. In Freeman’s case, there was one more powerful norm at work: he had watched male movie stars get away with such (in his eyes) harmless flirting for decades. When did it become “unwanted”? When did women start being “uncomfortable” with his pats and winking jokes? He was Morgan Freeman! He was a good guy! He played Malcolm X! Frederick Douglas! Hoke! Principal Joe Clark! Alex Cross! Nelson Mandela! The President! God! Twice! What young woman wouldn’t  find his sexually provocative comments welcome, even charming?

This is the point where Georgetown Professor Paul Butler bursts into my office with “Oh come on!” like he did on the air when I pointed out on NPR that powerful, famous men whose sexual conduct with women in the workplace crossed the line but was always  previously treated as “welcome” because of who they are now were finding that that same conduct had become, seemingly overnight, unwelcome and thus grounds for shaming and worse.  Butler thought that no sympathy or understanding was due such victims of cultural whiplash, though if my example had been Morgan Freeman instead of Donald Trump, I wonder if he would have protested so emphatically, or at all.

This is exactly what has happened, is happening, and just happened to Morgan Freeman, and I’m not saying that his conduct wasn’t wrong. I am saying that destroying senior citizens for being  slow to adjust to changing social norms is also wrong—unfair, vindictive, and a Golden Rule breach.

72 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, U.S. Society, Workplace

72 responses to “Morgan Freeman, Cultural Shifts, And The Dirty Old Man’s Dilemma

  1. dragin_dragon

    As a ‘senior citizen’ who can appreciate a nubile young beauty (even if I can do nothing about that appreciation), I thank you for this post. I have always believed that if a woman, young or old, is attractive, there is nothing wrong with letting her know you think so. I am apparently wrong, in todays politically correct climate. Thank you for coming to our defense.

    • “I am apparently wrong, in todays politically correct climate.” (bold mine)

      This wouldn’t be too much to attribute to Climate Change/Global Warming/Atmospheric Change/Climate Crisis/Climate Catastrophe/Global Weirding, ad infinitum/ad nauseum, would it?

  2. Other Bill

    Bill Clinton was caught in the very same trap. And boy, was he ever pissed.

  3. ”Bill Clinton was caught in the very same trap.”

    HRC did everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, to make sure her husband’s…um…shortcomings were understood to be just what they were; nothing more than an after market add-on of deferring to those who know what’s best for us.

  4. JutGory

    Bone to pick. Bone to pick. Bone to pick.

    Morgan Freeman played Malcolm X. Hmmm… I was going to make a Samuel L. Jackson comment about Laurence Fishburne playing Morpheus in a Cadillac commercial, but you covered that before.

    Denzel Washington played Malcolm X. In my view, he was the definitive Malcolm X. He had the look, the demeanor, the gravitas. Yes, Morgan Freeman played the role, and I had not realized that previously, but he played the after school special of Malcolm X.

    I don’t know the right analogy. Who is Rooster Cogburn? Wayne or Bridges? Who is Lincoln? Lewis, or Robert V. Barron? Or, as Deadpool asked of Professor X, Stewart or McAvoy?

    Your reference to Malcolm X deserved a parenthetical, as Washington defined the role, just as Judy Garland is Dorothy, Anthony Perkins is the Psycho, Ah-nuld is Quaid, and Harrison Ford is Solo.
    -Jut

    • He did play Malcolm X. It is irrelevant whether he is the definitive Malcolm X. The point is that he played heroes and good guys. Who was your favorite God? The section was not intended as a complete movie retrospective.

      Since you ask, of course Duke is the definitive Rooster (and the best Davy Crockett), Raymond Massey was the best Lincoln, Stewart is X. Also the best Wyatt Earp is Hugh O’Brian, the best Doc Holiday is Val Kilmer, Basil Rathbone is Sherlock Holmes, Sean Connery is James Bond, Christian Bale is Batman, Dick York was the best Darren, Heath Ledger nailed The Joker. Bela Lugosi is Dracula, and there are no good Tarzans.

      I love Denzel, but he’s always Denzel. I remember Malcolm X, and Denzel’s portrayal didn’t convince me at all.

      • JutGory

        Favorite God?

        George Burns. Who else?

        In all fairness though, when Denzel Washington played Malcolm X before he was Denzel Washington. He was practically De Niro playing Vito Corleone. He had yet to become Robert DeNiro. Thankfully, when I heard Spike Lee was directing that movie, I feared he would cast himself in the title role. Anyway, my point was it made me do a double-take. It is not a role for which he will likely be remembered.
        -Jut

  5. Man Splainer

    Feminism is all about controlling male sexuality and ensuring male sexual drive is directed to women’s best interests, while at the same time allowing women complete sexual freedom, ultimately giving women sexual privilege and power over men. That’s why men so easily lost their rights to presumption of innocence and due process with Affirmative Consent, MeToo and TimesUp. Men think they run the show when in actuality women do. Women now have complete power over male sexuality and are using that power to destroy masculinity. That’s because most men are simps and are willing to suffer feminists for sex, trading their liberty for potential sexual access through misplaced virtue signalling. Feminism is to male sexuality as Hitler was to Jewish longevity. Apparently, ‘men’ are willing to turn the other cheek as feminists beat them into submission. I wonder when female teachers are going to stop raping their young male pupils.

  6. Still Spartan

    Such touching and comments have always been unwelcome, it’s just that men always got away with it in the past and still usually get away with it today.

    Most men also know that it is wrong. They either can’t help themselves or don’t give a shit.

    • I agree that they have always been unwelcome. They used to be tolerated. No, I don’t think they should be, but that was the common practice.

      I’m not at all sure that most elderly men thought or think that it’s wrong. I always thought it was creepy behavior, but you’ll recall that Bush’s spokesperson recounted that “joke” without apparent awareness of what it signified.

      I think you may be “womansplaining.” I think many old men think its a privilege of old age. And there is no female equivalent.

      • Other Bill

        I suspect Morgan is still getting laid by groupies on a regular basis. I’m not sure the dirty old man thing even applies in his case. I’ll bet the odds were better than fifty/fifty that a young girl like that one would have hopped into the sack with him in response to his remark.

      • Still Spartan

        Nope. Even creepy old men become irate when their own daughters or granddaughters face this kind of behavior. So, they do know it’s wrong.

        • When they do it, it’s different.

          • Other Bill

            Wait a minute. Wasn’t Freeman accused of or rumored to have had an inappropriate relationship with a grand daughter or niece or someone like that? Am I confusing my not so admirable Hollywood guys?

            • Still Spartan

              Yep. He did that too. Disgusting.

              • No, you just can’t say that. She denied it, and Freeman denied it. There were rumors, and the only one who stated this on the record was the young woman’s murderer.

                Meanwhile, the woman was 30, not a blood relative, an adult, and didn’t live with Freeman, Even it it was an affair, which part is disgusting? The age difference? It’s not incest, technical or real. This is nothing like Woody Allen cheating with his crypto daughter while he’s sleeping with her adopted mother. It’s ick, to be sure.

          • When they do it, it’s different.

            Sounds like the excuses we keep hearing for why we are pursuing socialism when it has failed everywhere it has been tried.

            ‘The wrong people have been doing it: WE will do it right.’

      • Still Spartan

        To quote my good friend who follows this blog regularly but doesn’t comment — “Dementia aside, no one gets an old man’s pass when it comes to sexual assault. Which, I’m kind of mad that has to be said. On an ethics blog.”

        100% in agreement.

        • Foul. Nobody has accused Freeman of “sexual assault.” And you can call unwanted but casual fanny-patting sexual assault if you like: good luck getting an assault prosecution on it. It’s rude and intrusive behavior, should be called out, but you’re a lawyer: does that meet the legal standard for sexual assault in your eyes? Should Ex-President Bush be arrested?

          My post was explicit that Freeman did not commit assault by any reasonable standard (is touching a skirt assault?) Your friend’s comment is that of an asshole, and I’m glad she doesn’t comment any more. That was a typical distortion. Shame on her. And shame on you for “100% agreeing” with a false characterization of what I wrote.

          Women are willfully obtuse on this issue.

          • Still Spartan

            Trying to lift up a woman’s skirt is assault.

            • Good luck with that prosecution. It was a tasteless, ill-considered and rude attempt at flirtation and playfulness, and the only allegation of “touching” we have been told about. Does it mean he’s a menace? A pervert? A potential rapist? Not fit for human association? That he should lose his income? be a pariah? Allegedly “trying” to lift a woamn’s skirt is really “pretending” to try—he isn’t THAT old. If he wanted to lift a skirt, he could. I’m pretty sure.

            • Still Spartan wrote, “Trying to lift up a woman’s skirt is assault.”

              Trying but not actually doing is an assault, Spartan hyperbole that’s utter nonsense! Pretty soon you’re going to morph your opinion so badly that it’ll cause you to say that a man undressing a woman with his eyes is rape.

              • Still Spartan

                Well, by “trying” that means that you’re touching the skirt. Even if your hand gets batted away, it is still assault. But don’t take this lawyer’s word for it, go ahead and google “lift women skirt assault” and spend some time educating yourself.

                • So if I simply touch a skirt I can be charged with assault? BULL! Only if I physically lift the skirt is it actually assault. Get your facts straight Spartan.

                  There is a difference between touching a skirt with no hidden intent, touching a skirt with hidden intent, touching a skirt with intent to lift, touching a skirt threatening to lift it, and actually lifting a skirt – actually lifting is considered assault but not touching without lifting it is not assault.

                  Your interpretation of the law would put thousands of innocent men on a busy subway in jeopardy of being arrested and charged with assault.

                • Still Spartan

                  Oh FFS. You know nothing. I’m sorry to be insulting, but no amount of bold face on your part makes you right. If you don’t believe me, why don’t you try and lift a woman’s skirt but not actually succeed? I’m sure it will plead out — but you’ll still spend a few hours in jail.

                  • Still Spartan wrote, “If you don’t believe me, why don’t you try and lift a woman’s skirt but not actually succeed?”

                    It’s obvious that my point has blown straight over your head increasing your Cranial Power Generation Potential.

                • Still Spartan wrote, “…you’re touching the skirt. Even if your hand gets batted away, it is still assault.”

                  If I accidentally touch your skirt and you bat my hand away, can’t I have your arrested for an actual physical assault as opposed to your trying to have me arrested for an imaginary assault of a sexual nature?

                  • Still Spartan

                    “Accidents” are different. Most crimes require intent.

                    • Go ahead and try to prove intent if I touch a skirt without lifting it, once it’s lifted intent is proven.

                    • Still Spartan

                      I’m done giving you free lessons on the law. Either read up on your own, go to law school, or STFU.

                    • Seriously Sparty, you really had to stoop to this level of discourse? So sad. 🙁

                    • Still Spartan

                      Stop being combative about things you know nothing about. What if I accidentally lifted her skirt? Really, this is what you want to talk about? You want to nit-pick the definition of sexual assault? Is there nothing else here that you want to discuss? Again, I will point out that whoever Man Splainer is posted something pretty horrendous, but we’re hearing crickets on that one. Instead, the rest of you jump on me about some pretty basic points I have made about ethics and law that can not — and should not — be disputed.

                    • Spartan wrote, “What if I accidentally lifted her skirt?”

                      You misrepresenting hack, that’s not what I’ve either said or implied. Try reading for comprehension.

                    • I walked away, I slept, I’m no longer angry at you for your blatant misrepresentation.

                      Still Spartan wrote,, “Stop being combative about things you know nothing about. What if I accidentally lifted her skirt? Really, this is what you want to talk about?”

                      I covered this yesterday evening. Please learn from the experience.

                      Still Spartan wrote,, “You want to nit-pick the definition of sexual assault?”

                      I directly challenged you on how you have chosen to define sexual assault when it comes to touching a skirt. You have directly and indirectly implied that just touching a skirt is sexual assault. I think you’re wrong and you’re selectively comprehending what’s been written for the purpose of supporting your ludicrous claim. How about you make a genuine effort to prove to me that simply touching a skirt is sexual assault in stead of this nonsense you’ve been slinging.

                      Still Spartan wrote,, “Is there nothing else here that you want to discuss? Again, I will point out that whoever Man Splainer is posted something pretty horrendous, but we’re hearing crickets on that one. Instead…”

                      Bite me Sparty. Personally I haven’t even read the comment you are referring to, yet; but I’ll make an effort to read and address it today so you can no longer use that kind of pettiness as a “there are worse things” rationalization ad hominem attack toward me in this thread again. Again, bite me Sparty.

                      I really can’t believe you’re stooping to this kind of argumentation. Sometimes you argue like you’ve learned nothing around here. I honestly think you can do better than this.

                      Still Spartan wrote,, “Instead, the rest of you jump on me about some pretty basic points I have made about ethics and law that can not — and should not — be disputed.”

                      It’s equivalent to, “This is my word… and, as such, is beyond contestation”. How arrogant of you to spew forth the equivalent of the dreaded Self-validating Virtue rationalization. Again, have you learned nothing around here?

                      Still Spartan,
                      As for your arguments in this little side discussion, “You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting.”

            • Still Spartan wrote, “Trying to lift up a woman’s skirt is assault.”

              That sounds remarkably like this…

          • And how many times did I write in the post that the conduct was creepy and wrong? How many times do I have to write it to not get smeared by cheap shots like that of “your good friend”?

            The point was that that the culture has given a pass to this conduct for centuries, then suddenly reversed itself, and a teeny bit of compassion for the old men with whiplash is both proper and fair. That’s all. How about dealing with the real post rather than misconstruing it to make it easier to criticize?

            That was Chris’s trick. Not cool.

            • Still Spartan

              Trying to lift up a woman’s skirt always been considered assault Jack. I’m not sure why you’re angry with me on this. If you are saying that women have been powerless to complain about it since the dawn of time, then I agree.

              • You are misrepresenting the post. That always ticks me off. Every time.

                • Still Spartan

                  But I’m not. You’re essentially asking me to have some compassion for dirty old men whose worlds have been turned upside-down. No. Just because they have been in a position of privilege to get away with it for so long doesn’t mean that I have a single ounce of sadness for them.

                  My compassion is for the women who had to deal with this for his entire career. My compassion is for my mother who had to leave her first secretary job because her boss chased her around her desk every day.
                  (Think 9 to 5.) Let’s keep our eye on the ball here.

                  • Tell me about it. My first up close and personal experience with this was a great boss (for me) whose secretary came to me to complain that he kept propositioning her. And despite my efforts to mediate for her, she quit…and she was a mother. He was ultimately ruined by accusations, but the organization knew he was a harasser, but “that was just him; he didn’t mean anything by it.”

                    He genuinely didn’t understand why what he had been doing without objection his whole professional and personal life was suddenly a firing offense. And as with Hollywood, the culture that causes a man to think that way shares responsibility for his misconduct.

                  • Steve-O-in-NJ

                    Forget it, Jack, this is like you trying to tell a Hibernian to have some compassion for RUC cops shot in the back or British soldiers being blown up by bombs they never see coming . To Sparty the guys are the enemy and unworthy of anything but contempt.

                    • Sparty doesn’t think like that, though. Honest.

                    • Still Spartan

                      Other groups of people I have no compassion for — despite their worlds being turned upside-down:

                      1) White people who objected to sharing their pools and schools with blacks.
                      2) Men who objected to sharing their law, medical, etc. school classrooms with women.
                      3) People who are offended by two men holding hands.
                      4) People who petition against a Temple or a Mosque being built in their hometown.
                      5) People who won’t accept that Christianity (outside of history or comparative religion classes) can no longer be taught (and should never have been taught) and practiced in public schools.
                      6) People who are offended that the family at the next restaurant table is conversing in a language other than English.
                      7) Men who objected to their wives, sisters, and daughters voting.
                      8) People who won’t accept same sex marriage — or interracial marriage.

                      Yes, there was an entire culture built around assumptions that these were all unwelcome changes. So what? Who controlled the culture? When it comes to gender issues, the answer is men. That is changing now that women have more control in the workplace. And when it comes to race, it’s white men and women.

                    • Steve-O-in-NJ

                      Careful, Sparty, the fact that you might have no compassion for certain groups doesn’t make them powerless or go into nonexistence. It’s also never as simple as you make it out to be with these black or white statements. Take a sip of tea or whatever, and take the hostility down a notch, please.

                    • Still Spartan

                      Ha ha! Notice the silence on Man Splainer’s horrific comment above? Yep, I’m obviously the hostile one here — because I don’t have compassion for racists, misogynists, and bigots.

                      And I happen to like guys — a lot.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      Not quite, Sparty. Powerful men got away with it, because women were willing to trade for access. Good-looking men got away with it, because both sexes allow good-looking members of the opposite sex a lot of leeway. Ordinary or unattractive men couldn’t get away with nuttin, even honest requests for a date. P.S. Some good-looking women get away with the same crap. I have a case going on right now with a VERY attractive, recently divorced female attorney who I was dumb enough to let chat me up about this and that during a marathon deposition session. She always asks me now about “my girl” (another divorced female attorney who things really aren’t going very far with), pats my arm, hugs hello and goodbye (if not in the presence of clients) and makes requests for adjournments and other favors with a wink and a flirty smile. I’ve seen her pull the same act with other unmarried male attorneys, and it often gets her what she wants. You wouldn’t tolerate this if the genders were reversed, correct?

      • Still Spartan

        Umm …. I have to tolerate that most days of my adult life and probably since the age of 13 or 14 if I’m honest. Oh opposing counsel is winking at you and SMILING? The horror! Have you ever had opposing counsel — after a marathon arbitration session — say that he is daydreaming of bending you over a chair and having his way with you? No? Just me?

        I’m not talking about hugging or flirting Steve. I’m talking about unwanted sexual touching, about colleagues making sexual jokes, about bosses repeatedly asking you out on dates. Or, my personal favorite, a boss asking me to sleep with a client. Yep, that really happened. I left that job.

        And whether or not it is a good looking man or an ogre doing unwanted sexual touching, it is equally unwelcome.

        But getting back to your flirting/light arm touching, etc. complaint, if I — and every other woman — officially complained about such behavior, we would be deemed a pariah in the workplace because we would be spending all our time in HR. So no, we are not “willing to trade it for access,” it’s just our damned reality so we effin’ deal. We are talking about degrees here Steve.

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          1. Jesus Christ, no. I wouldn’t dare tell my opponent in a case I’d want to meet her for coffee, leave alone have my way with her. That’s the act of a pig, not a man.

          2. I don’t blame you. To me just a minimal touch is a touch too far, and I would never do even that. What you describe is criminal and disgusting.

          3. If you officially complain before it gets to unwanted requests for dates, etc., then you might stop it from going farther. P.S. Feel free to slap the next guy who tries to feel you up so hard that his features fly off his face, or creep-shame the next guy who even touches you by yelling so loud the whole office can hear it.

          • Still Spartan

            When I was working in restaurants, I more than once slapped men or dropped hot plates of food upside down in their laps. Such behavior tends to be frowned upon in white collar establishments.

            • Steve-O-in-NJ

              Mmmhmmm, and a few times when I was younger I slugged people who pushed me too far. That doesn’t go down too well in the legal world either.

  7. PennAgain

    Wondered how long it would take you to use that illustration. That was the first image that came to mind when Cosby’s ‘peccadillos’ came to light. This is what Ruth Buzzi thought of Arte (“Verrrry in-ter-ess-ting….”) Johnson’s second funniest role:

    • I’m in the minority, but the Arte role that made me laugh every time was the guy in the raincoat and rain hat hunched over and riding the kid’s tricycle, and falling over on the last beat of “Yada Dadida da DA!”

  8. A couple of clarifications:

    1. Someone alleged that Freeman flirtatiously, naughtily or facetiously started to lift up a woman’s skirt on a movie set. A. It is an allegation only. B.. His intent is impossible to know. He may have been pretending to lift the skirt as a joke. It is weak, weak, weak sexual assault if the skirt isn’t lifted.

    2.He has no right to touch it, but most “clothes touching” sexual assault involves touching or threatening to touch the body through clothes. The debate here is stupid. I don’t see clear intent or mens rea. Groping—there’s no ambiguity there.

    3.The issue of the post is whether dubious sexual assault and inappropriate banter by an old man justify destroying him without any real evidence at all.

    4. Apparently SS thinks this is good and just. I think it is punishing one old man for a cultural bad habit. A moderate amount of shaming would have been enough.

    Not one of Still Spartan’s listed offenses was a) alleged rather than proven or b) as minor as what Freeman is alleged to have done.

  9. Having ducked most of the commentary on this one (I am with Steve: ANY touch is a touch too far, in my world. But I am on the spectrum), I only have this to add:

    All I see here is the left eating their own. Not to blame the victim, but anyone who thinks virtue signalling protects them from the vengeful progressive mob is an idiot. The hounds are loose: Freeman is only the latest in a string of such ruined by the progressive scolds. These people don’t care who they harm: narrative is everything.

    I need to go to the store: I am running out of popcorn.

  10. OK, let’s stop fooling around. Here’s the complete list of everyone who has played God (I think):

    Rex Ingram, The Green Pastures, 1936

    Charlton Heston (voice), The Ten Commandments, 1956

    John Huston (voice), The Bible, 1966

    Jeff Chandler, Elizabeth I, 1972

    Stephen Elliott, The Creation of the World and Other Business, 1972

    Graham Chapman (voice), Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 1975

    George Burns, Oh, God!, 1977, Oh, God! Book II, 1980, and Oh, God! You Devil, 1984

    Ralph Richardson, Time Bandits, 1981

    Gene Hackman (voice), Two of a Kind, 1983

    Len Cariou, Up From Paradise, 1983

    Robert Morley, Second Time Lucky, 1984

    Ferdy Mayne, Night Train to Terror, 1985

    George Plimpton, Religion, Inc., 1989

    Harry Shearer and Phil Hartman (voice), The Simpsons, 1989

    Robert Mitchum, Les Sept Péchés Capitaux, 1992

    Scott Bairstow, Touched by an Angel, 1994

    Emily Watson, Breaking the Waves, 1996

    Trey Parker (voice), South Park, 1997

    Val Kilmer (voice), Prince of Egypt, 1998

    Bob Odenkirk, Mr. Show, 1998

    Maurice Roëves, The Acid House, 1998

    Bud Cort and Alanis Morissette, Dogma, 1999

    Jon Voight (voice), Noah’s Ark, 1999

    Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf, Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV, 2000

    James Garner (voice), God, the Devil and Bob, 2000

    Frank Finlay (voice), In the Beginning, 2000

    Whoopi Goldberg, It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, 2002

    Morgan Freeman, Bruce Almighty, 2003, and Evan Almighty, 2007

    Antônio Fagundes, God Is Brazilian, 2003

    Rodney Dangerfield, Angels With Angles, 2005

    John Cleese and Eric Idle (voice), Spamalot, 2005

    Rob Zombie (voice), Super, 2010

    Whoopi Goldberg, A Little Bit of Heaven, 2011

    Paul Sorvino, The Devil’s Carnival, 2012

    Jim Parsons, An Act of God, 2015

    • PennAgain

      well, some of them did make the world a better place, if just for an hour and a half. Shearer and Hartman had the best voice. (As a student of Greek drama, I have to commend you for proving that we really do live in a pantheist universe; as an atheist I have a recurring character to compare and criticize.)

  11. Esther Xie

    I got to know the news by accident. I have terminated Netflix, quit Twitter and distanced myself from American news.
    I lost a lot of respect and interest in American culture since metoo. I think the whole thing is childish, ridiculous and hypocritical.
    oh well…
    I am not a celebrity. so I can afford to be honest.

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