I… I don’t even know what to say. Morgan Freeman has been accused of sexual misconduct by eight women, including allegations of unwanted touching and harassment.
CNN spoke to these eight women, as well as eight other individuals who say they witnessed Freeman’s alleged inappropriate behavior on set, while promoting his movies and also at his production company Revelations Entertainment.
A young production assistant on one of Freeman’s latest film, Going in Style said he would make comments about her figure and clothing on a daily basis, as well as touching her back. Another woman who worked on the 2012 hit heist film Now You See Me said Freeman sexually harassed her and made comments about her body. According to the woman:
“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.”
At 80 years old, Freeman is one of Hollywood’s biggest and most iconic actors, with a movie career that spans nearly five decades. His starring roles in movies like Driving Miss Daisy and a personal favourite of mine, The Shawshank Redemption in the late 1980s and early 1990s made him a household name. He won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for 2004’s Million Dollar Baby, and has earned four other Oscar nominations.
Each of the women said they did not report Freeman’s behavior because they feared for their jobs, a reason that is unfortunately all too familiar in this industry. Instead, the women said they tried to come up with ways to combat the harassment on their own. Examples of that were dressing in different ways.
Three entertainment reporters who spoke to CNN said that Freeman made inappropriate remarks to them during press junkets. CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Melas said she interviewed Freeman for Going in Style when he told her, “you are ripe.” She reported what happened to CNN human resources which then brought in Warner Bros., who produced and distributed the movie. Warner Bros. allegedly could not corroborate the account because only one of Freeman’s remarks was caught on camera.
One former female employee of Revelations Entertainment said when she met the actor, he:
“Looked me up and down” and then asked her, “How do you feel about sexual harassment?”
“I was stunned. 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.’”
Other previous Revelations Entertainment staffers also told CNN that the company’s two founders, Freeman and Lori McCreary, crafted a “toxic” work environment, where female staffers were exposed to sexual comments made by the actor.
Another woman stated that Freeman would “come over to my desk to say hi and he’d just stand there and stare at me. He would stare at my breasts.” A male former employee then chimed in, saying “One time I witnessed Morgan walk up to an intern and start massaging her. The intern got visibly red and wiggled out of his grasp, it was awkward.”
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