As he does interviews for the coming of the third Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, Morgan Freeman, one of the movie’s stars, can’t help but make comparisons between the fictional world of the Batman characters and the real-life political drama unfolding in the presidential election.
Batman is a force of good who has to rid Gotham of evil forces that Freeman said looked very much to him like the characters in the Republican Party, who announced from the beginning of the Obama administration that they were intent on being a destructive presence.
“At the outset of Obama’s administration, the political right [meaning Senator Mitch McConnell] literally said, out loud: ‘The No. 1 project of this party is to make sure that this guy – this guy – only serves one term.’ How do you make sure of that? You don’t allow him to do anything good or worthwhile,” Freeman said during an interview with The Guardian. “Every chance you get, block him, and that’s what they’ve done. Which now allows them to say: ‘He’s failed, he can’t get anything done.’ If he loses, it simply proves what you always feared, that democracy can be bought, and that the country is owned by the rich. And if everything gets bought, how do we ever get the country back?”
Asked what happened to the idea that Obama’s election was going to bring about a post-racial utopia, the 75-year-old Oscar winner was dismissive of the notion.
“No, not at all, instead the whole thing uncovered,” he says, “plenty of maggots still squirming around there under the stone.”
While Gotham in The Dark Knight Rises is divided up into two political forces that look remarkably like the Tea Party movement vs. the Occupy movement, Freeman said it was not intentional.
“Someone asked Christopher that question yesterday, and he said he didn’t intentionally think of anything political in the development of the story,” said Freeman, who once again plays the role of Lucius Fox, the Wayne Enterprises CEO who provides Batman with his exquisite super-powered toys. “So I think the politics here, if there are any, is like art or beauty, it’s largely in the eye of the beholder.”
During the interview, Freeman offers his opinion of the name “African American.”
“I hate the phrase ‘African American,’” he says, “because ‘black’ is beautiful. One syllable versus seven.”