Morgan Freeman, 80, is the most recent man in Hollywood to be accused of sexual harassment. The Academy Award winner has denied the allegations but he did admit that he gave compliments to women he has worked with.
A total of 16 people told CNN that there was a pattern of inappropriate behavior by Freeman on set, while promoting his films and at Revelations Entertainment, an independent movie production company that he co-founded with Lori McCreary. Eight of them claimed that they were victims of either sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior by the “Million Dollar Baby” actor.
On May 24, 2018, Freeman released a statement apologizing to anyone who felt uncomfortable because of him or disrespected by him, which he said was never his intent. He noted that anyone who knows him or has worked with him knows that he is not someone who would intentionally make anyone feel uneasy.
On May 25, 2018, Freeman released another statement pointing out that all assault and harassment victims deserve to be heard. On the other hand, equating horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or humor is wrong, the actor added.
“I admit that I am someone who feels a need to try to make women and men feel appreciated and at ease around me,” Freeman said in the statement obtained by the New York Times. “As a part of that, I would often try to joke with and compliment women in what I thought was a light-hearted and humorous way. Clearly, I was not always coming across the way I intended.”
Because of the sexual harassment allegations, credit card company Visa will stop the broadcasting of its commercials that used Freeman’s voice. The transit system in Vancouver, Canada has also backtracked on a plan to use the actor’s voice for some announcements over its loudspeakers.
Meanwhile, Freeman is set to star in “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.” Also starring Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Matthew Macfayden, Mackenzie Foy and Eugenio Derbez, the adventure fantasy film will hit theaters on November 2, 2018.
In 2005, Freeman won Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards for his performance in “Million Dollar Baby.” Aside from this, he has four other Oscar nominations, the most recent of which was in the Best Actor category for his performance in “Invictus.”
Learn more about the allegations against Freeman here: