The Russian invasion of Ukraine is about to enter its fourth month, and no matter what Vladimir Putin tells his people, it’s not going well for them. The aggressor nation has been hit with untold sanctions, which have affected everyone from yacht-owning oligarchs to local Netflix subscribers. But now Russia is hitting back at their critics in one relatively small way: They’ve banned almost 1,000 Americans from entering the nation — and before you ask, yes, Morgan Freeman is among them.
As per The Hill, Russia unveiled a list on Saturday that included a whopping 963 names, all Americans, all of them permanently banned from visiting the land that once produced such game-changing luminaries as Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and Sergei Eisenstein. There are the usual suspects: Joe Biden (and his son Hunter), Kamala Harris, Hillary Clinton, Cory Booker, etc. There are also, strangely, some folks from MAGA world, including Louie Gohmert and Paul Gosar. (One name not on it: Donald J. Trump.)
There were even some names from the entertainment industry. Rob Reiner, an outspoken critic of Trump and Russia, was no surprise. But what is Morgan Freeman doing on it? What did the guy from Lucky Number Slevin ever do? Well, maybe it has to do with a video he participated in back in 2017 in which he called out Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 election.
“We have been attacked. We are at war,” Freeman says in the video, looking straight into the camera, his voice at its authoritative-cum-soothing best. He even accused Putin of using cyberwarfare “like the true K.G.B. spy he is.” He then called on then-president Trump to “use every resource available to conduct a thorough investigation to determine exactly how this happened.”
The video enraged Russian authorities and locals at the time. Perhaps they haven’t forgotten. And now they’ve included him in what the nation’s foreign ministry admits is a reponse to the sanctions they’ve received since invading Ukraine. Anyway, it’s their loss. It just means more occasions to hear him narrate the pool scene from Fast Times at Ridgemont High for the rest of us.
(Via The Hill)