Kofi Annan served as secretary general of the United Nations from 1997-2006 and received a Nobel Peace Prize. He was elected in 1996 and felt that the UN should focus on eliminating poverty. In 2001, as he began his second term and won the Nobel, Annan was heralded as “Africa’s foremost diplomat.”
In the wake of his death on August 18, 2018, many people reflected on Annan’s outstanding character. One lighthearted story truly spoke to Annan’s good humor. After Annan’s departure from the UN in 2006, he and his wife decided to vacation in Italy and they made a point of going “off grid.” A few weeks into their quiet retreat, Annan and his wife ventured to town to buy a newspaper. Upon their arrival, a few men seemed to recognize Annan and greeted him.
Annan thought their cover was blown, but was surprised when they asked:
Morgan Freeman, may I have an autograph?
He graciously signed their paper, “Morgan Freeman.”
Another account of the diplomat being mistaken for the actor surfaced. A group of Buddhist monks criticized Annan’s decisions on Rohingya and, when they protested, they used a picture of Morgan Freeman.
Some people felt that the doppelgängers created the perfect opportunity for a biopic.
I can see Morgan playing him in a movie soon they really do look alike wow amazing!!!!!!
— ronnie (@sillydog1960) August 18, 2018
Can we have Morgan Freeman do a movie as tribute to Kofi Annan?
— ALLEN OBENG ASARE (@MenameisAllen) August 19, 2018
Others predicted some confusion on Twitter.
Don't be that idiot to tweet “R.I.P Kofi Annan” with a picture of Morgan Freeman.
— Ese.A (@Ese_Agboaye96) August 18, 2018
Kofi Annan has passed. I foretell a Twitter full of RIP Morgan Freeman pictures.
— Shahak Shapira (@ShahakShapira) August 18, 2018
And were they right!
Well seems like the confusion was infectious pic.twitter.com/CIJuGH7LuG
— Nura-Lisa Karamagi (@Kokucentia) August 18, 2018
— Yaamutu (@yaamutu_savage) August 18, 2018
But mostly, people warned Fox News not to mess up again like they did with Aretha Franklin.
Dear Fox, you seem to have trouble with identifying black people. Allow me to help… first up (left) Morgan Freeman. Now, on the right you have UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. You’re welcome. pic.twitter.com/LUGipGOlGG
— Adore My Stable Geniusness (@Msaderhold) August 18, 2018
We’re only hours away from the headline “Fox News Apologizes for Honoring Kofi Annan with Photo of Morgan Freeman”
— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) August 18, 2018
Patiently waiting for Fox News to show a photo of Morgan Freeman while they pay respects to Kofi Annan.
— Invictus (@TBPInvictus) August 18, 2018
Right now someone at Fox News is searching for the photo of Morgan Freeman that most closely resembles Kofi Annan.
— Huh… (@CapitalistFool) August 18, 2018
Kofi Annan has died.
There's at least a 50% chance that Fox News uses a picture of either Morgan Freeman or Nelson Mandela.
— Sour Kraut (@eldritchengines) August 18, 2018