Morgan Freeman fans are hurt and angry after the actor led the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar

Morgan Freeman faces criticism for his performance at the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony in Qatar.

The 85-year-old actor kicked off the soccer competition’s opening ceremony on Sunday (November 20) by speaking the opening segment The calling at the Al Bayt Stadium in Doha.

He told the crowd, “We gather here as one great tribe and the earth is the tent in which we all live.”

This year’s World Cup is mired in controversy due to its host country, Qatar, and concerns about human rights abuses there.

The plight of the migrant workers who have helped build Qatar’s infrastructure has been widely highlighted in the run-up to the tournament.

Concerns have also been raised about the country’s attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community. Kick It Out’s working group in Qatar said that despite repeated requests, adequate reassurances on safety have not been given, meaning LGBTQ+ fans have largely stayed away from a country that criminalizes same-sex relationships.

Other LGBTQ+ groups have said they are staying away to protect the community in Qatar, which Human Rights Watch said is being targeted by authorities — something the government strongly denies.

Many celebrities such as Dua Lipa and Shakira refused to perform at this year’s tournament to show their support for Qatar’s human rights abuses.



Freeman’s performance at the opening ceremony in the Middle East nation has now drawn criticism from many on social media.

“For a man who played Nelson Mandela – who knew better than anyone the impact and importance of isolation on a country and his success on the ground in changing that nation’s politics – it is so disappointing to see #MorganFreeman taking money and supporting an oppressor regime,” one person wrote on Twitter.

Another person added: “@morganfreeman very disappointed some people will do anything for money. Won’t watch #shawshankredemption again.”

One person wrote: “Morgan Freeman should be ashamed. how much do they pay you How big is your integrity? Never raise your voice to talk about minorities. They just lost that privilege.”

The Independent has reached out to Freeman representatives for comment. Morgan Freeman fans are hurt and angry after the actor led the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar


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