Morgan Freeman received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his nearly five-decade long career at the 2018 SAG Awards on Sunday, January 21 — but before he could give his full attention to his speech, he gave a nod to a famous friend.
As the 80-year-old legendary actor began his acceptance speech, he paused for a moment to acknowledge someone in the audience. “Hey. I’m talking to you. Yes, hey,” he said with a smile directing his attention to the mystery person.
“OK, well you just stand out for me, that’s all,” he added before resuming.
While he didn’t use names at the time, he later explained that it was last year’s lifetime achievement award winner who he was zeroing in on, and perhaps it wasn’t for the reason everyone had initially assumed.
“Yeah. That was Lily Tomlin,” he said backstage at the Shrine Auditorium afterwards. “She’s a wonder in herself and I’ve always loved her. I see her, I say hello.” Freeman and Tomlin, who was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series for her role as Frances Bergstein in Grace and Frankie, both appeared on the 1970’s show The Electric Company.
The Going in Style star also made headlines for another moment in his speech where he recognized the sex of his award.
“Oh, and one more thing, I wasn’t going to do this,” he said. “I’m going to tell you what’s wrong with this statue, it works from the back, from the front it’s gender specific. Maybe I started something.” The comment came in the wake of recent issues of sexual misconduct and gender inequality in Hollywood that have come to light.
Freeman was presented with his award by his Electric Company costar Rita Moreno, who later walked off stage with him. “You want some help, dear?” she asked as he struggled to pick up the statue. “You have no idea how heavy these suckers are.”
Watch the moment in the video above!