Morgan Freeman is the latest Hollywood star to be swept up in the #MeToo movement.
The 80-year-old actor has been accused of sexual misconduct by 8 women and several other people. He has since issued an apology.
His apology reads:
“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”
This came after CNN conducted a sexual harassment investigation on him, after one of their entertainment reporters was subjected to it. Sadly, she isn’t the only one who had to go through the uncomfortable situation, as many other women has accused him of it too.
A young production assistant alleges that Freeman subjected her to unwanted touching and inappropriate comments on everyday on set. She was working with Freeman on the set of “Going in Style” when the actor would rest his hand on her lower back and in one incident, tried to lift her skirt.
Another senior member of the “Now You See Me” production staff claimed that female assistants knew to not wear revealing clothes when the veteran came by, as he always commented on their bodies.
4 other people who has worked with Freeman described him as “repeatedly behaving in ways that made women feel uncomfortable at work”. 2 more said he subjected them to unwanted touching and 3 said he made public comments about women’s clothing or bodies.
The allegations are not restricted to people he worked with. Entertainment reporters who have conducted interviews with him were subjected to it too.
CNN reporter Chloe Melas said Freeman repeatedly looked her up and down and made an inappropriate comment when she interviewed him for “Going in Style”.
Tyra Martin, the entertainment producer for Chicago’s WGN-TV, said that she has always been “in on the joke”, but there was an incident that crossed the line. “When I stood up, I pulled my skirt part of my dress down and he did say, ‘Oh, don’t pull it down now.’ That gave me pause but I never felt uncomfortable,” she explained.
His staff at his company Revelations Entertainment has also stepped up to corroborate on his behaviour.
However, none of them reported his behaviour as they were afraid of repercussions.
A production assistant who worked with Freeman on “The Dark Knight” explained:
“Morgan did things in a way that an older more established person can get away with because they have that power,” she told CNN. “They can’t be replaced, but you can be replaced very easily, that’s just kind of the dynamic on set. PA’s can be replaced, grips can be replaced, electricians can be replaced, but the actors — once they’re in, they’re in. Had it been somebody else on the crew… I would feel comfortable reporting them because I wouldn’t feel like my job would be in danger by reporting them, but if you report somebody like Morgan Freeman that the movie would lose a lot of money by replacing them or getting them in trouble, then you’re the trouble maker and you’ll get fired because you’re just a PA.”
Or as another entertainment reporter puts it, “I was just trying to do my job and I brushed it off. You don’t want to put him on the spot because one, he’s famous and two, it’s on camera and three, you just want to do your job.”