Acclaimed actor, Morgan Freeman released a statement late this Friday (May 25, 2018) to address multiple allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. Morgan stated he “did not assault women” nor “create unsafe work environments.”
In an investigation published Thursday, CNN reported details of the 80-year-old actor’s alleged pattern of unwanted advances on women while he was on movie sets, at media junkets or working with his production company, Revelations Entertainment.
For the story, CNN spoke with 16 people who say they were either subjected to Freeman’s behavior or witnessed his alleged misconduct. He denied the accusations in a statement to USA TODAY, and followed it up with a longer account Friday night.
“All victims of assault and harassment deserve to be heard,” the statement read, according to the New York Times. “And we need to listen to them. But it is not right to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or humor.
“I admit that I am someone who feels a need to try to make women — and men — feel appreciated and at ease around me,” he added, the Times reported. “As a part of that, I would often try to joke with and compliment women, in what I thought was a light-hearted and humorous way. Clearly I was not always coming across the way I intended.”
“But I also want to be clear,” Freeman said, according to the Times. “I did not create unsafe work environments. I did not assault women. I did not offer employment or advancement in exchange for sex. Any suggestion that I did so is completely false.”
The Screen Actors Guild, which bestowed Freeman with its prestigious Life Achievement Award in January, said Thursday that it was considering revoking the honor.
“These are compelling and devastating allegations which are absolutely contrary to all the steps that we are taking to insure a safe work environment for the professionals in this industry,” a statement from SAG-AFTRA reads. “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.”
Credit card company Visa pulled commercials featuring Freeman.
The company said in a statement: “We are aware of the allegations that have been made against Mr. Freeman. At this point, Visa will be suspending our marketing in which the actor is featured.”