“These are compelling and devastating allegations which are absolutely contrary to all the steps that we are taking to ensure a safe work environment for the professions in this industry,” a SAG-AFTRA spokesperson said in a statement to Us Weekly on Thursday, May 24. “Any accused person has the right to due process, but it is our starting point to believe the courageous voices who come forward to report incidents of harassment. Given Mr. Freeman recently received one of our union’s most prestigious honors recognizing his body of work, we are therefore reviewing what corrective actions may be warranted at this time.”
The 80-year-old actor, who won the award in January, denied all allegations against him in a statement to Us earlier on Thursday. “Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy,” the Oscar winner said. “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”
Freeman’s statement came in response to a CNN report based on interviews with 16 people claiming to have witnessed or experienced the Going in Style actor’s alleged abuse.
A senior production staff member on the 2013 flick Now You See Me claimed that Freeman inappropriately commented on her and her colleagues’ bodies while on set. “We knew that if he was coming by … not to wear any top that would show our breasts, not wear anyting that would show our bottoms, meaning not wearing clothes that [were] fitted,” she told the network.
Even more, a production assistant who worked with Freeman on 2017’s Going in Style alleged that he “kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear.” She claimed that Freeman didn’t stop until costar Alan Arkin stepped in.
CNN reporter Chloe Melas also accused Freeman of sexually harassing her at a press junket last year when she was six months pregnant. According to Melas, the Shawshank Redemption actor told her she was “ripe” and looked her up and down multiple times.
A male employee at Freeman’s movie production company, Revelations Entertainment, also alleged that his boss was “very inappropriate.”
“It’s hard because on set he is the most powerful person on it,” the former staffer told CNN. “It’s weird because you just don’t expect it from Morgan Freeman, someone who you respect.”
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