Martin Freeman Controversy & Allegations Explained

By Nathan Johnson Posted:
Martin Freeman

Martin Freeman, the 52-year-old actor who know for his roles in the MCU and The Hobbit, has been showered in controversy and allegations over the years, with some fans recently bringing them back up.

For example, responding to the trailer for Freeman's new film, Miller's Girl, posted to X (formerly known as Twitter), user lynchinist called him "a racist, misogynistic homophobe" amongst other things, and shared some of his most questionable moments.

That being said, what past controversy surrounds Freeman?

Martin Freeman's Past Controversies

Martin Freeman in Miller's Girl

As mentioned, Martin Freeman has been known to make some extremely eyebrow-raising comments throughout his acting career, particularly in professional interviews.

For example, in a 2008 sit-down with Daily Mail, Freeman talked about multiculturalism and stated that it "hasn't and doesn't help," while also claiming that it "polarizes people:"

"Multiculturalism hasn’t and doesn’t help, because rightly or wrongly it polarizes people so much. 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."

The actor then made a particular point to talk about Muslims, going as far as to make extremely stereotypical comments:

"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?'"

Freeman also made the statement that his views weren't as racist as other people made them out to be, saying that if he and other people with similar mindsets "were that racist, people wouldn't come" to the country:

"There is no country in the world like this. If all of a sudden all the traffic wardens in Ghana were Welsh, they’d really notice and might not love it… 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."

In the same interview, Freeman repeatedly used racial slurs (the N-word) when talking about modern hip-hop culture, while also pointing out how much he "really [doesn't] like it."

While Freeman stirred up controversy in that one interview, his comments didn't stop there.

As shared by Metro, while promoting The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in 2013, Freeman jokingly brought up date rape, an extremely sensitive topic that has caused a lot of trauma for victims worldwide.

When asked if he would rather date a Hobbit, a dwarf, or an elf, the actor played along and chose an elf:

"Elf, definitely. Because look at them; they’re beautiful. Men or women."

However, seeing as how elves are much taller than Hobbits (Freeman's character's species), the star was then asked how he would address the height difference in the relationship.

This is when Freeman stirred up a great deal of controversy, saying that he would have "drugs" and could "slip something in their goblet:"

"I’ve got a ladder. It’s fine. And I’ve got drugs. I could just make them — you know (pretends to fall over). Slip them something in their goblet. Some will get offended by that now. Cause they’ll call it rape or whatever. But, um, you know. For me, it’s a helping hand."

It seemed as though as soon as he said it, however, Freeman knew he had just taken a plunge into the deep end as he said, "Maybe I should stop talking."

During a 2020 interview with The Times, the actor was faced with character slandering allegations yet again, this time after commenting revealing he smacked his children.

When asked about the abusive father character that he played in a TV show called Breeders, Freeman essentially stated that people who call out parents for hitting or smacking their children are wrong, despite never actually enduring it himself (which obviously doesn't give him the authority to comment on the matter):

"I was never hit, but I know plenty of people who were, and they don’t really bitch about it now. It’s different if you get the shit kicked out of you, but the odd slap? I know plenty who don’t care."

The actor then shockingly admitted that he had "smacked [his] kids," and to make matters worse, even detailed that "they were very young" when he did so:

"I have smacked my kids. When they were very young. I smacked my kids, yes. And it’s not like a victory. It’s not, ‘Oh, I must be doing something right!’ But I have done it. When it is route one to something they need to understand and I cannot rationalise with them. Also I was impatient and at the end of my rope."

Back in 2019, Scotland became the first country in the UK to outlaw smacking, to which Freeman implied that the world was trying to move forward more quickly than it should:

"Yeah, but so many things are different now. In one generation, we’ve tried to travel about 5,000 years, with varying success. Obviously, it’s a good idea not to hit your kids. But at some point you’re going to do things wrong and, 20 years on, your kids are going to ask why you did that. It’s inevitable."

The actor then reiterated that he smacked his own children while also shockingly stating that he would "do it again:"

"And with smacking — I’m not proud I did that, but I have. I don’t think it’s a policy. And I’ll do it again!"

Freeman then made it seem as though he believed that frowned-upon actions such as smacking were just regarded as wrong because it makes parents feel bad:

That is another frustrating thing about parenting, and what makes you feel like a failure. All the images we’re getting about how to parent if you’re a nice, arty person are a series of rules we all either adhere to or pretend to."

Freeman also attacked the principle of "positive affirmation," and, in the same breath, admitted to also calling his children "little f***ers:"

"You know, positive affirmation and everything is great, and you’re perfect the way you are. Well, you’re not. One of the rules is, don’t smack your kids or call them little f***ers. But, you know, I’ve done both."

Freeman once again mentioned that the world seems to just be wanting to make parents feel guilty:

"I’ve probably smacked twice, but I’ve called them little f***ers more than twice. I know I’m not supposed to do it, but there are so many images about how [parenting] all just has to be brilliant that it makes people feel bad. Because it’s not brilliant. I mean, it is — it’s the best thing I’ll do. But that doesn’t mean it’s not really hard."

The actor then stepped down from his twisted soapbox by saying that there is no way a parent can "ever rationalize with a toddler," essentially implying that anyone who says they discipline their children in a "rational" way is lying:

"This idea you only ever rationalise with a toddler? Genuinely, good luck. If you can do that, God go with you. Amazing. But, yeah, I don’t think most are doing that."

- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.