#MeToo: Eight women accuse Morgan Freeman of sexual harassment
Another top Hollywood name is in trouble over allegations of sexual misbehavior. Morgan Freeman constantly passed questionable remarks and often touched and stared inappropriately, they said. Their claims have been backed by others, including males. What stands out is that Freeman has been a public supporter of the #MeToo and TIME'S UP campaigns. Freeman has now apologized to "anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected."
Freeman allegedly 'lifted up' skirts, kept staring at women
Freeman's alleged targets include production-staff, employees at his production-company Revelations, and reporters. A production-assistant on 'Going In Style' (2015) said he "kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear." On one of his birthdays, he asked attendees to form a circle as a game, then approached each woman really close, look them up and down, and move on.
'How do you feel about sexual harassment?': Freeman asked one
A former Revelations employee said when she met Freeman for the first time, he "looked me up and down" and asked, "How do you feel about sexual harassment?" Another said he would "come over to my desk...and he'd just stand there and stare at (my breasts)." An employee said he witnessed Freeman suddenly start massaging an intern with one hand; the other was injured at the time.
Women were forced to change dressing-style, one left the industry
A former Revelations employee claimed he often heard Freeman making comments like 'I'd like to have an hour with her.' A production-assistant on 'Now You See Me' (2012) said they had to come up with their own ideas to avoid uncomfortable comments; they soon stopped wearing fitting clothes around him. One, who was in her early 20s, eventually left the movie industry.
This reporter was six-months pregnant when Freeman commented on her
One alleged target was CNN's Chloe Melas, who was six months pregnant then. When she went to cover a junket, Freeman kept saying variations of "I wish I was there." Cameras recorded one statement- "Boy, do I wish I was there"- but no others.
Many sources guessed, without being told, about Freeman's involvement
Melas started her months-long investigation after her own experience and found many women had similar stories to tell. Incidentally, CNN reports that many whom they sought comments from without naming the actor could immediately guess they were talking about Freeman. Several said they had never witnessed such behavior by the actor. Others simply refused to comment.
Ironically, Revelations made many progressive movies with strong female roles
Ironically, Revelations was set up to and has made several films on important but often ignored issues like apartheid, astronomy, religion and stem cell research. Two of its productions, "Along Came a Spider" and the hit CBS show "Madam Secretary," feature strong female leads. But former and current employees said behind this façade was a "toxic" work environment.
Freeman apologizes while SAG 'reviews' lifetime achievement award
Freeman has since apologized and said it was "never (his) intent" to make others 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." For now, the Screen Actors Guild is 'reviewing' Freeman's recent SAG Lifetime Achievement Award. "These are compelling and devastating allegations," the union said.