Martin Freeman’s Troubling Accusations Resurface

in Marvel, Movies & TV

Martin Freeman as Everett Ross in 'Secret Invasion'

Credit: Marvel Studios

Martin Freeman is one of the most beloved actors in the world, known for playing awkward and charming characters like Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) and Tim Canterbury in The Office (2001-2003). However, the actor is not without controversy, with resurfacing statements that many have deemed culturally insensitive and racist.

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins
Credit: New Line Cinema

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After his breakthrough performance in the British version of The Office, Martin Freeman has become one of the most beloved actors in the world. He has become the face of many iconic characters in film and television, including Dr. John Watson in Sherlock (2010-2017) alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, and Everett K. Ross in multiple Marvel projects, including Captain America: Civil War (2016), Black Panther (2018), and Secret Invasion (2023).

Since he has often played characters that tend to be friendly, humble, and a bit nerdy, it is easy to see Freeman as that in real life. However, comments have recently resurfaced that have painted the actor in a different light.

Freeman Believed Multiculturalism is Too Polarizing

black panther martin freeman angela bassett
Credit: Marvel Studios

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During an interview with the Daily Mail in 2008, Martin Freeman made comments that many observers have deemed offensive, insensitive, and flat-out racist. It began with comments about multiculturalism, and it only got worse from there.

“Multiculturalism hasn’t and doesn’t help because, rightly or wrongly, it polarises people so much,” said Freeman. “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.”

While this was controversial enough, the actor put his foot even further into his mouth when he continued, saying, “We’ve reached a state now where it’s, ‘You shouldn’t notice. Why are you noticing he’s got a bomb and has a beard and is Muslim and wants to kill your family?’ There is no country in the world like this.”

Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch standing in a green field for Sherlock
Credit: BBC

Freeman then said that people in Ghana “might not love” if their traffic wardens were Welsh, continuing to say, “We give ourselves a hard time in this country in a sort of mea culpa way. But if we were that racist, people wouldn’t come. Very simple.” While this is another statement that just screams ignorance, it’s when he began talking about music that the tone took a very sharp turn.

Warning: the following quote contains inappropriate language that may offend readers.

“I come from a time when not every rap record was ‘n—-‘ this and ‘n—-‘ that… an earlier socially and morally conscious hip-hop sensibility, when it was, ‘Don’t call people n—-.’ But now it’s n—-, n—-, n—-, and it’s not funny or interesting politically, artistically, or socially. I really don’t like it.”

This is the point for many people where Freeman crossed the line, and understandably so. That slur is incredibly offensive and is a subject that he has no reason to have mentioned, given his background. And this quote has truly put a sour taste in the mouths of people previously fans of Freeman.

Martin Freeman Fans Are Not Pleased


Replying to @sure harry is the advertiser-safe brand of fruit #harrystyles #lgbt #trans #martinfreeman #lanadelrey #comedy

♬ original sound – htmljones

While these quotes were initially made in 2008, they have resurfaced repeatedly for Martin Freeman whenever he makes another potentially controversial comment, often in the form of distasteful jokes, or promoting a new project. Most recently, the original quotes came up again due to a viral TikTok from user @htmljones, who said the actor was racist alongside Lana Del Rey and Harry Styles.

This statement shocked fans of Freeman, with many replying to the video with variations of “MARTIN FREEMAN NOOO,” “NOT MARTIN FREEMAN,” and simply, “FREEMAAAAAAN” followed by multiple crying emojis.

While this TikTok brought up the discourse yet again, it appears that this is meant to be a joke or at least stir the pot for no reason. The user has created videos that expose other celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lawrence, and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Martin Freeman as Bilbo from The Hobbit movies with his sword, Sting, in the ground of a cave
Credit: New Line Cinema

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On top of this, they claim in the comments that “Bilbo joined the EDL,” referring to the English Defence League, a far-right Islamophobic political party in the United Kingdom. There is no truth to this. In fact, he is a member of the more liberal Labour Party and sees himself as more of a socialist.

In the end, this is a difficult subject. While Freeman’s comments are problematic, this is also from over 15 years ago. It’s possible that his views have changed since then. That being said, he has never mentioned the interview or apologized for any controversial thing he’s said. Therefore, it’s more than likely that these issues will continue to bubble up until they are finally addressed.

Do you think the controversy is being blown out of proportion? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below.

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