The popular American Actor Morgan Freeman has been accused of sexual harassment and acts of inappropriate behaviours toward quite a number of women who have worked with him. The women are said to be in the categories of production assistants on movies in which he has starred, journalists who did cover the release of his movies or employees of his production coy.
Freeman is no doubt one of America’s popular actors, he featured in Driving Miss Daisy in 1989 and The Shawshank Redemption in 1994. He is known for his Baritone voice and frequently plays characters of gravitas and incredible moral rectitude. He acted Nelson Mandela in Invictus, the leader of the United States in Deep Impact as well as God in Bruce Almighty.
Eight women disclosed to CNN that they personally experienced some sorts of sexual harassment or unseemly conduct by Freeman, while eight others claimed they had seen such act by the Oscar-winning actor. But NPR has not freely affirmed the claims.
CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Melas is one of those women who says Freeman made sexual remarks and stared at her intently. In fact, she’s one of the writers of the report on Freeman’s conduct that was published by CNN on Thursday. According to Melas, it was her encounter with Freeman that arouse her curiosity, which led to investigating if there are any other women who had had such experience with him or who had been harassed by him.
When Melas met Freeman last year, she was six-month pregnant, she was to interview him about the release of his movie Going In Style last year, “a bank heist comedy featuring Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, and Michael Caine.
However, she alleged that the job decayed into constant harassment for months. Melas claimed that Freeman subjected her to undesirable touching and remarks about her figure and apparel almost on a daily basis. She reported that Most times Freeman would with impunity lay his hand on her lower back or sometimes rub her lower back.
Melas claims Freeman’s co-stars, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin, were also seated on either side of Freeman and took a gander at him when he made the remark. She says he made different remarks to her that wasn’t on tape, such words like, “You are ripe.”
In one of her experiences with Freeman, she stated, Freeman “kept attempting to lift up my skirt and inquiring as to whether I was wearing underwear.” He never succeeded in lifting her skirt, she said – he would touch it and endeavour to lift it, she would move away, and after that, he’d attempt again. In the long run, she said, “Alan [Arkin] made a remark instructing him to stop. Morgan got shocked and was dumbfounded.”
There are other sources who attest to Freeman’s improper conduct. Many of such harassments occurred apart from that of the movie set. A lady who was a senior personnel of the production team of the film “Now You See Me” in 2012 disclosed to CNN that Freeman sexually abused her and her female colleague on various events by making remarks about their bodies
Many of the allegations raised against Freeman in the CNN report portray his attitude at Revelations Entertainment, the production organization he jointly founded with Lori McCreary, a producer in the same company. The organization has made films including Invictus and Along Came A Spider and the CBS political drama ‘Madam Secretary.’
One former male staff at Revelations confirmed that Freeman used to act like a “creepy uncle” at the workplace and that he saw the actor rubbing the shoulder of an obviously uncomfortable intern. “The lady got obviously red and squirmed beyond his control, it was absurd,” he said.
In addition, a former production partner, who assisted Freeman in the production of Going In Style revealed to CNN that she encountered undesirable touching and remarks about her dress and body relatively consistently from Freeman — an affair she says most of the time left in her tears and drove her to leave the film business. She said Freeman “kept attempting to lift up my skirt and inquiring as to whether I was wearing pants.”
CNN contacted Freeman’s personal assistant on media for comment and afterwards, at his demand, emailed him a comprehensive list of the allegations against Freeman. But the PA never responded to numerous subsequent efforts through email to get a comment on the allegations.
However, in a statement released to NPR, Freeman apologized to anybody he made awkward.
In addition, he said, “Anyone who knows me or has at one time or the other worked with me knows I am not somebody who might purposefully outrage or intentionally influence anybody to feel uneasy. I apologize to any individual who felt harassed or disrespected — that was never my motive.”
Furthermore, the report published by CNN includes charges involving McCreary, Freeman’s business associate — somewhat as a victim, while at other time as the culprit. At a conference in 2016, Freeman spoke of McCreary, “She desires to be thought of as serious. Yet, you can’t get away from the short dresses.”
The arbitrator asked Freeman if his remarks could be viewed as sexist and misogynistic. “Sexist? No doubt,” Freeman answered, “but I am not misogynistic.”
According to an anonymous production assistant who worked with Morgan on The Dark Knight, “The actor’s stature and power enabled him to act rashly in the open with impunity
“Morgan acted in a way that an older, more established individual can get away with on the grounds that they have that power,” the lady told CNN.
“They are indispensable, however, you can be replaced very easily, that is dynamic on set. PAs can be easily replaced without a blink, grips can be replaced, technicians can be replaced, but not the actors — once they’re in, they’re in… If you report someone like Morgan Freeman, because the movie would lose a lot of money by replacing them or getting them in a bad position, at that point you’re the troublemaker and you’ll get your ass burned simply because you’re only a PA.