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‘Dark Knight Rises’ imperilled by Morgan Freeman’s politics, claims Time Warner shareholder

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A Time Warner shareholder has accused the Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman of using a press tour for the film Dolphin Tale to forward his own political agenda rather than promote the movie.

When Freeman appeared on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight show in September 2011 while promoting the family drama, he made a statement in which he labelled the US rightwing Tea Party movement racist over its opposition to president Barack Obama.

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Citing statistics suggesting that US filmgoers of all persuasions are less likely to view films featuring stars who express political opinions differing from their own, a spokesperson for shareholder David Ridenour said Warner Bros, a Time Warner subsidiary, should take steps to ensure Morgan buttoned his lip while promoting his next movie with the studio, comic book tale The Dark Knight Rises.

The statement was made at the annual shareholders’ meeting at the Warner Bros studio in Burbank, California. Ridenour asked: “What specific steps will Time Warner take to ensure that Mr Freeman avoids such divisive and insulting words while promoting his next Warner Bros film, The Dark Knight Rises?”

The shareholder, who runs a conservative thinktank, said Freeman’s views may have caused filmgoers to avoid Dolphin Tale, which performed more weakly than had been expected at the US box office last year. However, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said there was not much the company could do even if that were the case.

“What can we do about it? Is that the question? Not much,” he said, to a smattering of applause. “It doesn’t usually have a significant commercial effect on the success of the film.”

Freeman told Morgan last year that the Tea Party’s determination to avoid a second term under Obama was fuelled by prejudice towards the colour of the president’s skin.

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“Stated policy, publicly stated, is to do whatever it takes to see to it that Obama only serves one term,” he said. “What … underlines that? The country. We’re going to do whatever we do to get this black man … outta here.”

The star of Driving Miss Daisy and The Shawshank Redemption added: “It just shows the weak, dark, underside of America. We’re supposed to be better than that. We really are. That’s why all those people were in tears when Obama was elected president. ‘Ah, look at what we are … this is America.’ You know? And then it just sort of started turning because these people surfaced like stirring up muddy water.”

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2012

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Trump is enacting the presidency ‘George Wallace never had’: Conservative columnist

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On Friday, writing for The Washington Post, conservative columnist Max Boot tore into President Donald Trump's legacy on race.

"We know how a normal president responds when a white police officer ignites furious protests by killing a black man. It is the way President Barack Obama responded in 2014 after a grand jury refused to indict a white police officer who had fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the National Guard had to be called in to deal with looting and fires," wrote Boot. "Obama expressed sympathy for the protesters — their anger, he noted, was 'rooted in realities that have existed in this country for a long time' — while making clear that he had no sympathy with violence: 'Burning buildings, torching cars, destroying property, putting people at risk — that’s destructive and there’s no excuse for it. Those are criminal acts. And people should be prosecuted if they engage in criminal acts.'"

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White House goes into lockdown as George Floyd protests in DC rage hotter

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On Friday, CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang reported that the White House has now issued lockdown orders.

The development comes as protests against the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota have spread to Washington, D.C. and crowds are growing angrier. Earlier in the evening, a protester scaled the wall of a federal building and spray-painted an obscene anti-Trump message above a window.

The White House is currently under lockdown orders. https://t.co/LasnCIjkum

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‘Virtual terrorism’: Far-right trolls are targeting marginalized groups on Zoom calls

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On May 14, thirty-one residents of an East Oakland neighborhood joined a videoconference call to meet with their neighborhood services coordinator to hear updates about upcoming community events and resources available to residents; the meetings, which took place regularly in person prior to the pandemic, recently transitioned to virtual videoconferencing app Zoom. Then, five minutes into the call, the number of attendees jumped up to 72.
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