Morgan Freeman accused of harassment

At least eight women have accused Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman of subjecting them to inappropriate behaviour or harassment on film sets or at promotional events, CNN reported on Thursday.
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As part of its investigation of the 80-year-old actor, CNN said it had spoken with 16 people, some of whom also alleged inappropriate behaviour by Freeman at his production company, Revelations Entertainment.

A young production assistant who worked on Going in Style – the 2015 comedy starring Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin – alleges the US actor subjected her to unwanted touching.

She also alleges that Freeman would comment on her figure and clothing on a regular basis, and that he would rest his hand on her lower back or rub her lower back.

In one instance, she said Freeman “kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear.” At one point, she recalled, “Alan made a comment telling him to stop. Morgan got freaked out and didn’t know what to say.”

A female senior production staffer of Freeman’s 2012 film Now You See Me reported a similar pattern of behaviour. She said Freeman sexually harassed her and other female assistants by commenting on their bodies.

“He did comment on our bodies,” she said. “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.”

Each of the women said they didn’t report him, most citing that they feared for their jobs.

Freeman said in a statement that he was sorry to anyone who had been made to 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,” he said. “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”

Freeman, whose career has spanned 50 years and more than 100 movies, won an Oscar in 2005 as best supporting actor for his role as a former boxer in the film Million Dollar Baby.

Following the CNN report, credit card company Visa said in a statement that it was suspending its “marketing in which the actor is featured.” Freeman has been the longtime voice of Visa television advertisements.

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