Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 3, Is Martin Freeman Racist?

Dear World,

     For the past couple of weeks, I have been watching - and re-watching - Sherlock from the BBC.  When it comes to my obsessions, I tend to immerse myself in it for a week or two and move on two a new one, though each obsession that I have stays with me, whether I like it or not ... except for Twilight ... *shiver*.  Sometimes the obsession leaks onto the actors that portray them, sometimes not.  However, this is one of those times where the obsession leaked onto the actor, thus beginning my adoration of Martin Freeman.  

     Don't get me wrong, I love Benedict Cumberbatch, especially as Sherlock - my aesthetic crushes tend to focus on the voice.  He seems like a nice, tall, charming, thirty-something, and I would, indeed, fangirl all over the place if I ever got the opportunity to meet the guy.  Yet, for some reason, I suddenly became absolutely fascinated by Martin Freeman, the actor who portrays John Watson in Sherlock.  
     Martin Freeman first broke through in the industry as Tim Canterbury from The Office (the original, not the American version), and soon was featured in quite a few shows and films afterwards, a few being Love Actually as John, Sherlock as John Watson (coincidence?), and The Hobbit as Bilbo Baggins which is coming out on December 13 here in the States.  As I was creepily searching him on Google - and completed my fangirling from discovering his past and future roles - I stumbled upon a blogger who ranted about how the person despised Freeman for saying "the 'n' word" and another accusing him of being racist.

     Baffled from my findings, I searched for this article in which many of the blogs referred to in their claims.  The Daily Mail can be such a little bugger sometimes, as they had a poorly written article accompanied with the implication that Freeman is being antagonized by the reporter.  The reason why people claim that he is racist is because of this quote directly from the article: 
"'Multiculturalism hasn't and doesn't help, because rightly or wrongly it polarises people so much,'"

     I freaked out.

     I had no idea what multiculturalism meant so I just started to panic, thinking that the blogs were all right and I was respecting some racist person form across the pond!  Then, I cooled down and searched what multiculturalism actually meant.  According to the online Oxford Dictionary, multiculturalism is "of, relating to, or constituting several cultural or ethnic groups within a society".

     I freaked out (again).

     "Holy crap, this guy is actually racist!  This NOT good!  Mayday, mayday!  Akemi just fangirled over a racist!" I thought to myself.   Once again, I calmed down and thought rationally about the situation.  I decided to actually finish reading the article and found this lovely quote from Freeman right after the one that almost gave me a heart attack at sixteen:
"'Racism is one thing ? and I don't agree with that in any form ? but noticing that there are differences is normal and fine and to be encouraged.'"

     I sighed with relief as I read that to myself.  Then what little of my rational and logical part of my brain began to think those quotes through.  I suddenly realized why Freeman dislikes multiculturalism - it's not because he personally hated a specific ethnic group, but because certain ethnic groups hate other certain ethnic groups.  After all, a little thing called nationalism was a major part of the beginning of World War I.  Although I do agree that multiculturalism does segregate people culturally and antagonize one another, I believe that, when used for the greater good, it could allow us to learn about one another and understand each other's beliefs a little bit better. 
     I also heard bloggers hate on Freeman due to him saying "the 'n' word", and that also derives from this article; however, him saying "the 'n' word" was completely in context, as shown here:

"I really liked hip-hop until the gangsta rap took over. I come from a time when not every rap record was 'nigga' this and 'nigga' that; an earlier socially and morally conscious hip-hop sensibility, when it was, 'Don't call people nigga'."

"But now it's nigga, nigga, nigga, and it's not funny or interesting politically, artistically or socially. I really don't like it."

     See? It's completely in context (why the interviewer was asking about his music taste and suddenly jumped to commentary about today's youth, I have no idea).  I completely agree with him about rappers saying "nigga" in songs to sound more bad-ass.  It's absolutely unnecessary in most - if not all - cases in the lyrics and does nothing for it.  I also saluted him for saying this:

"These days, kids avoid stuff because it's old, but why?" he asks. "When I speak to people about music and they say, 'I don't know about that; it was a bit before my time", it really angers me.

and this:

"The one thing I've found is that someone always knows more than you do, including your babies. There are loads of things people presume I know about that I don't."

and this:

"The great thing about getting older is that you learn not to care about being cool. I'm happy with who I am, I know what I like and I can't see myself changing? not for a little while, at least."

and especially this:

"But no one is out. It's not so bad here, but in Hollywood ? Jesus Christ. Why don't they just admit it? No one cares if they're gay or not. I certainly don't.
In this so-called liberal industry, no one has the guts to come out because of "the box office", but someone has to be the first in the firing line.
"Without the suffragettes a lot of women would have thought, 'Why should we have the vote?' And I think that the same argument exists today. People should stand up and be counted."

     It's a bit forceful, but it still urges those who are comfortable with their sexuality to come out and prove that a gay actor is just as good as a straight one.

     It wasn't until later that I actually looked at the source which was the Daily Mail.  I'm sure that there are some people out there who read that newspaper, but that specific article in relation to Freeman was just... I don't even know where to begin.  It goes from this:

"Politely, I comment on his lovely house and the tranquillity that surrounds it."

to this:

"Indeed, on the day of Live's shoot we dithered for half an hour as he decided how long his trousers should be, returning to the ironing board twice so the bottoms, in keeping with the suit's immaculate Sixties styling, would fall in exactly the right place."

to this:

"Freeman, a pescatarian (he eats fish but not meat) who rarely uses computers, doesn't drive a car and has his scripts sent to him by post rather than emailed, is resolutely individual.

He hates pubs and doesn't feel the need to attend premiere parties or London clubs."

     Then I remembered who ran the newspaper originally... it was run by this jackhole right here.  Not to say that he directly hired the reporter who wrote that awkward article, but keeping mind that this dude also had FOX News, as well as, The Daily Mail under his belt, I wasn't that surprised to see such an... interesting article on that site.
     Not to say that being conservative and being a bad writer are linked, I'm just saying that as a very liberal person, conservative views are confusing enough to me as it is it might just be that I'm personally just reading the whole thing wrong.  Please note that I respect those who hold on to their opinions, even if I don't agree with them, just don't rub them in my face obnoxiously and assume I'll take your stance just because you think that it's right.
     Getting back to Freeman, even after reading that dreadful article, I still believe that he is someone I look up to as an artist (of acting) and as a person in general.  Please note that I have never met him - yet -, this is all just presumption from what I have seen him do on screen and through various interviews.  Martin Freeman seems like a wonderful man that I would love to meet, as I would agree with most of his views and basically squeal whenever he's on screen.  That is why you will not want to be sitting next to me in the theater when The Hobbit premiers, as I will be squirming and squealing in my seat every time that Bilbo will be on screen.  Keeping in mind that Bilbo Haggins is the main protagonist in the movie, my voice will probably be hoarse by the end of the film.  Hopefully, when I get to meet him, I will be able to assure him that though he's on the short side, only being 5'6", he still towers over people such as myelf (I'm 5'1 1/2").  Thank you, Mr. Freeman, for your fantastic performances as various characters whether they be the humble nice guy like Tim Canterbury or the lonely soldier like John Watson.
     On that note, I will leave you all with these lovely gifs going with the theme of Martin Freeman (and Sherlock)


PS I apologize for my inner fangirl coming out in this post more than I expected.  Back to your normal programming in the next post (or not if you people like reading blogs about fangirls).

I'm sorry, I'll stop.  ;-;


  1. Hey I like your blog! Don't you have it on Bloglovin's list or something that readers could follow it? :)

    1. Thank you very much (sorry for replying to late, by the way)! I now have a link to bloglovin so you may follow it for future posts and I will (hopefully) post something nice soon! ^^

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you so much for reading this! I didn't realize that people may actually read what I post on here, but I'm glad that you enjoyed the post! :3

  3. I am Asian myself and I agree with your article. Haters just use this as a weapon to attack him. I just wish they can use their brain to digest the context.

    1. Exactly, and thank you very much for reading and commenting! I didn't expect much response to my post, but I'm happy that you enjoyed the post. ^^

  4. I think it is too late to comment but I should say thank you for your posting. I'm not sure you are steal MF's fan, but to me, who just be fan 1month ago, your post is very encouraging and lovely and .... sooo relieved that I CAN be MF's fan. (As you noticed, English is not my first language so plz understand my bad english XP )
    Anyway! I really want to say thank you and ..your post means alot to me. Thanks!

  5. Hi, this is a good read =) Came across it when i was digging some info on the man.

    Read your previous posts that you're practicing your writing here, and overall I think you're doing it really well besides a couple of spelling mistakes for words that sounds the same, but otherwise you did great!

    On another note, I would really like to follow more of your blogs, so please post in here more often =)

  6. I stumbled upon this after some nasty things Google was autofilling about Martin here :(

    That said, thanks for clearing up confusion :D

  7. Thanks for your well thought out discussion. I appreciate your balance and caution in not coming to judgment too quickly. I'm one of those confusing conservative-types :). I try not to insist you agree, though I appreciate being allowed to explain my viewpoint without being dismissed automatically. I felt you were thorough and careful to search out new sources for truth. I wish more people, journalists in particular, were consistently this judicious. (from both political leanings). Again thank you.