In May 2018, a young production assistant accused actor Morgan Freeman of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. Since then eight total people have come forward accusing Freeman of sexual harassment, unwanted touching, and other inappropriate behavior. In a report published by CNN, details of the 80-year-old actor’s pattern of unwanted behaviors on movie sets, at media events, and at his production company. Freeman has denied the allegations and released the following statement: “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.”
However, CNN’s findings paint quite a different picture. Journalists talked to 16 different people who said they were subjected to the actor’s behavior or witnessed his inappropriate actions. In the report, eight women outright accused Freeman of sexual harassment or misconduct. Most of these women worked at the Academy Award-winning actor’s production company, Revelations Entertainment, or were entertainment journalists who covered his movies. The production assistant mentioned earlier says she worked on Freeman’s Going In Style movie over the course of the summer of 2015, where she dealt with his harassment and advances for several months. The woman told CNN, “He kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear. Alan (Arkin) made a comment telling him to stop. Morgan got freaked out and didn’t know what to say.”
The Effects of #MeToo
Since the #MeToo movement was launched, countless Hollywood men have come under fire for their inappropriate actions and sexual harassment. Freeman is just one in a long list of stars and previously well-respected actors, Hollywood moguls, news anchors, and more. In the CNN report, another woman who was a senior member of the production staff on a 2012 project, said Freeman harassed her and several other female employees throughout filming.
Freeman continues to deny the claims, stating via his publicist: “I am devastated that 80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye, by Thursday’s media reports.” Since the allegations were made public, Freeman has faced numerous repercussions. Visa, for which Freeman’s voice is used in commercials, stopped airing those commercials as of May 25 and the SAG-AFTRA actors union is reconsidering Freeman’s recent Lifetime Achievement award.
Since the #MeToo and Time’s Up (organized to fight sexual harassment) movements launched, countless men have come under fire for their actions. Like Freeman, many have lost their corporate sponsors and been banished from Hollywood. These are very important movements to our culture, society, and the history of our nation. If you have been sexually abused or harassed in any way, please contact Janovsky & Associates today. Attorney Janovsky is a strong advocate for sexual abuse victims and has helped countless victims win these types of cases. To discuss your case or learn more about your options, please contact our sexual harassment law firm today and schedule a free consultation.