In the wake of the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, it seems as though women are becoming more comfortable and brave enough to come forward and speak out about the horrifying experiences of abuse and harassment they’ve suffered through.
Now, 8 different women have come forward and told CNN that they were sexually harassed by prominent actor Morgan Freeman. According to the news website, at least 16 people have accounted for Freeman’s inappropriate behavior–8 witnesses and 8 victims. The harassment occurred throughout the years towards writers, production assistants, and reporters.
CNN’s own entertainment reporter, Chloe Melas, came forward and admitted she, too, was harassed by Freeman during an interview for the 2015 film “Going in Style.” During the interview, Melas was six months pregnant and reported that Freeman said things such as “I wish I was there,” and “you are ripe.”
Cameras for CNN caught his “Boy, do I wish I was there” comment on camera, however, his later inappropriate comments were not filmed. Melas and CNN reached out to the HR department at Warner Bros. (the distribution company for the film), however, they did not further investigate the account because “the later comments were not filmed.” CNN decided not to cover the film any further.
One production assistant told CNN that while working on the same film, Freeman harrassed her for several months–including touching her without permission and making inappropriate comments about her body. Specifically, on one occasion, she said: “Freeman lifted up her skirt and asked if she was wearing underwear.”
Another former employee of Freeman’s production company–Freeman’s Revelations–claimed that while working on “Through the Wormhole,” Freeman made comments like “How do you feel about sexual harassment?” According to the report, she said:
“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 female employees for the same production company said he would “look them up and down,” and stare at their breasts.”
“If I ever passed him he would stare at me in an awkward way, would look me up and down sometimes stopping and just staring. One time he stopped, looked me up and down as I walked into a room of people, and everyone burst out laughing. And I literally froze feeling very uncomfortable and one of the people in the office said, ‘Don’t worry, that’s just Morgan.'”
In 2016, the co-founder of Freeman’s production company was embarrassed and devastated when Freeman made a comment about her “short dress” in front of 400 people at a conference saying: “she had a dress on cut to here. She wants to be thought of as serious, but, you can’t get away from the short dresses.”
Even male employees that worked for Freeman claimed he resembled a “creepy uncle.”
“One time I witnessed Morgan walk up to an intern and start massaging her [shoulder]. The intern got visibly red and wiggled out of his grasp, it was awkward.”
Other male employees claim that at company parties and events, Freeman would ask women to “twirl” for him. At his own 79th birthday party thrown by Revelations, he acted rather inappropriately towards the majority of women at the party–and didn’t speak to men.
“[He would] stand maybe within an inch of their face and just look them up and down and not say anything, and then would move on to the next woman and he’d stand like within an inch of their face and look them up and down and not say anything, and it was really, really strange. It was really weird and he did it to every woman but of course he didn’t do it to any of the men. He didn’t speak to any of the men.”
Many writers who worked with Freeman joked in late 2017 when the #MeToo movement was picking up that “Morgan would be the next person to be called out.” And, with good reasoning, too. It seems as though Freeman was incredibly open about his inappropriate behavior, making comments about his co-worker’s appearance and clothing in front of others frequently.
Morgan Freeman and his team have issued a statement saying:
“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent”
People have been pretty hurt and outraged to see Morgan Freeman exhibited this type of behavior.
I thought Morgan Freeman was trending because he died, now it's potentially even worse, all my black role models getting struck down.
Pac, if you really alive now would be a good time to come back.
— EE »Momocon« (@ThePhenomenalEE) May 24, 2018
I saw Morgan Freeman was trending so of course I clicked on it thinking he died.
Sort of wish I was right.
— Michael Tannenbaum (@iamTannenbaum) May 24, 2018
When you see why Morgan Freeman is trending… pic.twitter.com/ag8zjUlMCJ
— Cyrus McQueen (@CyrusMMcQueen) May 24, 2018
NOT MORGAN FREEMAN
NOT LITERALLY THE ONLY VISION I HAVE OF GOD IN MOVIES
— Kyou (@ningiou) May 24, 2018
i saw Morgan freeman trending and was scared to click it in case he had died but it’s literally even worse
— dan (@d_fferr) May 24, 2018