Morgan Freeman has responded to the recent allegations of sexual misconduct levied at him, both apologizing to his accusers and roundly defending himself against their claims. The actor describes the accusations as being rooted in misunderstanding, and he specifically denies statements that his behavior attributed to an unsafe work environment for his colleagues. The 80-year old Academy Award-winning actor was accused of sexual misconduct earlier this week when several women - the number of which totals 16 at the time of this writing - came forward to tell their story to CNN, eight of whom allege personally experience of harassment or inappropriate behavior from Freeman.
Co-author of the report Chloe Melas is one of Freeman’s accusers, and she claims that she was harassed by the actor during a junket interview. In communication with CNN, a young production assistant working on the set of 2017’s bank heist comedy Going In Style alongside Freeman detailed the unwanted touching and sexual harassment she experienced, including repeated attempts made to lift up her skirt. Another film professional, this time on the set of Now You See Me, stated that she and her assistant continuously received unwanted comments about their bodies from Freeman. That compelled them to adjust their outfits prior to arriving to work, in an attempt to ameliorate or avoid continued verbal harassment.
Morgan Freeman’s publicist officially responded to the allegations (via NBC News), stating that, “All victims of assault and harassment deserve to be heard...And we need to listen to them. But it is not right to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or humor.” Since the reports were made, SAG has begun considering “corrective actions” against the actor, such as rescinding his Lifetime Achievement Award, and Freeman's Visa advertisements — in which the actor serves as narrator and does not actually appear on-screen — have been completely suspended from airing.
Freeman is a highly-recognizable Hollywood actor with numerous film credits to his name - including roles in critically-acclaimed films such as The Shawshank Redemption and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, not to mention movies like Bruce Almighty, The Bucket List, and even RED - which is why these allegations are making headlines around the country. Plus, it just goes to show how widespread these instances of harassment and misconduct are in the filmmaking industry.
On a side note, the allegations against Morgan Freeman arrive in the same week of Harvey Weinstein’s heavily publicized arrest, as the disgraced producer faces first-degree and third-degree rape charges in New York City in a scandal that has shaken the industry, precipitating the #MeToo social movement. While the actor claims to be “devastated” at the disastrous potential of these reports, his statement also outright denies that the alleged inappropriate behavior and harassment took place.
Source: NBC News