A CNN exclusive has revealed that veteran Hollywood actor, Morgan Freeman, has been accused by eight different women of sexual innuendo and inappropriate behavior on different occasions.
The 80-year-old Oscar winner apologized in a Thursday statement, saying that it was not in his nature to deliberately offend people and that he was sorry if he had inadvertently made anyone feel “uncomfortable or disrespected.”
“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy,” said the host of the documentary series, ‘The Story of God with Morgan Freeman.’
“I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent,” said the tainted octogenarian.
Eight of the sixteen people CNN spoke to over the course of their months-long investigation into the actor’s alleged sexual misdemeanors, said that they had been subjected to what some of them described as “inappropriate behavior,” while others called it “harassment.”
However, all the sixteen interviewees were in agreement over a behavioral pattern of inappropriateness on Freeman’s part during his on-set interactions with them, and also at his production company Revelations Entertainment.
Revelations Entertainment co-founder Lori McCreary, who was also among the sixteen interviewed, admitted to being witness to, at least, one incident of harassment and inappropriate behavior that prevailed at Revelations Entertainment, courtesy Mr. Morgan Freeman.
McCreary recalled another incident in which Freeman publicly demeaned her; however, one interviewee accused McCreary of making a derogatory comment about a female job aspirant at the Producers Guild of America, which McCreary is the co-president of.
CNN reports that a budding production assistant, who was thrilled to have joined the team of ‘Going in Style’ – the action-comedy film starring Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin, under-production at the time – did not imagine that her dream job was going to subject her to months of harassment of a sexual nature.
She has accused Freeman of touching her inappropriately and even going to the extent of trying to lift her skirt and wanting to know if she was wearing underwear, in one such incident of, alleged, sexual misconduct by the eighty-year-old.
After several attempts at lifting up her skirt, which she kept avoiding by moving away each time he tried, he was ticked off by fellow-actor Arkin who asked the seemingly salacious actor to stop.
“Alan [Arkin] made a comment telling him to stop. Morgan got freaked out and didn’t know what to say,” the young production told CNN.
Not only did the allegations against Freeman come from the sixteen, but other sources who spoke to the news network, also, gave credence to the accusations.
One woman, who worked with the production unit of ‘Now You See Me,’ in 2012, said that Freeman had made inappropriate remarks about her and her female assistant’s bodies on, not one, not two, but multiple occasions.
“He did comment on our bodies… We knew that if he was coming by … not to wear any top that would show our breasts, not to wear anything that would show our bottoms, meaning not wearing clothes that [were] fitted,” the lady told CNN.
Repeated emails by CNN to draw a response to the multiple allegations from Freeman’s spokesperson went unanswered and it was only after CNN made the story public that Mr. Freeman released a statement of apology.
Allegations of Freeman’s licentious behavior stretch way beyond the confines of Revelations Entertainment and movie sets, with entertainment reporters telling CNN that the aging actor had not even spared them at press events.
As a matter of fact, Chloe Melas – a CNN entertainment reporter and one of the co-authors of the article that exposed the, allegedly, naughty actor – has, herself, been a victim of the man’s inappropriate behaviour when he subjected her to undesirable comments at a press junket for ‘Going in Style.’
Melas, who was six months pregnant at the time, reported the incident to her channel’s HR department and they, in turn, informed the Warner Bros. HR team about it but they were unable to “corroborate the account because only one of Freeman’s remarks was on the video.”
Following the incident, Melas spoke to several women and came to know that Freeman was a regular and habitual offender in this regard and that hers was not a one-off case, by any means.
Thus began her months-long quest, along with her co-author, to expose the man in front of his adoring fans and admirers and, in fact, the world.
Allegations against the winner of last year’s lifetime achievement award are also being investigated by actors’ union SAG-AFTRA.
“These are compelling and devastating allegations which are absolutely contrary to all the steps that we are taking to ensure a safe work environment for the professionals in this industry,” a union spokesperson said.
“Any accused person has the right to due process, but it is our starting point to believe the courageous voices who come forward to report incidents of harassment. Given Mr.
Freeman recently received one of our union’s most prestigious honors recognizing his body of work, we are therefore reviewing what corrective actions may be warranted at this time,” added the SAG-AFTRA representative.
Vancouver transit authority, Translink, withdrew a Freeman-voiced Visa Canada ad campaign meant for the transit system after the allegations against him came to light on Thursday.
In a statement released on Thursday morning, TransLink said:
“In light of information we’ve learned through news stories this morning of serious allegations against actor Morgan Freeman, TransLink has decided to pause his voice announcements as part of a Visa ad campaign on the transit system.”
Revelations Entertainment came into existence in 1996, founded by Freeman and Lori McCreary on the premise of exposing the truth behind serious issues that afflicted society; apparently, their mission was to entertain people through revelations – hence the name.
The company went on to make several films, covering subjects such as apartheid, religion, stem cell research, astronomy, and others, including the film ‘Along Came a Spider’ and the popular CBS show ‘Madam Secretary’ – ironically, both the films had women in the lead roles
A former employee at Revelations Entertainment – a female, it goes without saying – who first met Freeman on the set of the film, ‘Through the Wormhole,’ told CNN that the actor asked her about her impressions on sexual harassment while eyeing her “up and down.”
“I was stunned,” she said. “This is the person that I worked for, this is his company, I didn’t expect it at all … I said timidly, ‘I love it’ in a sarcastic way hoping to make light of the situation because I was so confused and then he turned to the guys on the crew … and said, ‘See guys, this is how you do it’.”
Another woman – a former manager at the company – told the news channel that Freeman would sometimes approach her desk to say hi and stand there ogling her breasts.
“If I ever passed him he would stare at me in an awkward way, would look me up and down sometimes stopping and just staring,” she told CNN.
“One time he stopped, looked me up and down as I walked into a room of people, and everyone burst out laughing. And I literally froze feeling very uncomfortable and one of the people in the office said, ‘Don’t worry, that’s just Morgan’.”