In the latest iteration of the MeToo movement, eight women have accused actor Morgan Freeman of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment, according to a CNN report released today.
A total of 16 people spoke to the news outlet, eight were alleged victims of Freeman’s misconduct and eight were witnesses to the misconduct.
One of the women to come forward was a production assistant who worked on the set of Freeman’s 2015 film Going In Style. The unnamed assistant alleges Freeman repeatedly touched her without permission and routinely made unwanted comments about her body.
In one instance, Freeman “kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear,” said the assistant. Eventually, Freeman’s Going In Style co-star, Alan Arkin, “made a comment telling him to stop. Morgan got freaked out and didn’t know what to say.” The assistant also alleged the now 80-year-old actor would rub or rest his hand on her lower back.
A senior production staffer from Freeman’s 2012 film Now You See Me corroborated his pattern of behavior saying the actor would often make comments about female staffers’ bodies.
“He did comment on our bodies,” said the senior production staffer. “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.”
Both the alleged victims and witnesses of Freeman’s inappropriate behavior said they did not come forward earlier because they feared losing their jobs.
“If you report somebody like Morgan Freeman 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,” one witness told CNN.
Another female employee, who worked on the set of Through the Wormhole, said when she initially met Freeman, the actor looked her “up and down” before asking, “How do you feel about sexual harassment?”
One former male employee described the actor as a “creepy uncle,” before detailing an incident where he witnessed “Morgan walk up to an intern and start massaging her.” He continued, “The intern got visibly red and wiggled out of his grasp, it was awkward.”
A writer for Madam Secretary (Freeman serves as the show’s executive producer), said that after the MeToo movement picked up steam, the show’s writers began to joke “that Morgan would be the next person to be called out.”
After CNN’s report was released this morning, Freeman gave the following statement to the Hollywood Reporter:
“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy,” he said. “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected ― that was never my intent.”
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