Eight women have come forward to accuse Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman of sexual harassment and said the veteran star engaged in inappropriate behavior on movie sets, during interviews, and at his work office over a period of years, starting in 2012.
CNN spoke with 16 people who all described several instances in which Morgan Freeman made inappropriate comments to female staffers, “eight of whom,” the outlet reports, “said they were victims of what some called harassment and others called inappropriate behavior by Freeman.”
CNN reports, “Eight said they witnessed Freeman’s alleged conduct. These 16 people together described a pattern of inappropriate behavior by Freeman on set, while promoting his movies and at his production company Revelations Entertainment.”
A female senior production staffer for the movie Now You See Me said the now 80-year-old Freeman not only “sexually harassed” her but also harassment her colleague on several occasions.
“He did comment on our bodies… We knew that if he was coming by … not to wear any top that would show our breasts, not to wear anything that would show our bottoms, meaning not wearing clothes that [were] fitted,” she said.
One young production assistant described working on the set of “Going In Style,” in 2015 as a nightmare, claiming Freeman would habitually run his hand down her lower back. On one occasion, the actor attempted to lift her skirt up, while asking if she was “wearing underwear.”
“Morgan got freaked out and didn’t know what to say,” after actor Alan Arkin ordered the longtime actor to stop, the woman says.
Freeman is also accused of making crude remarks to reporters covering the actor’s press tours.
CNN’s Chloe Melas alleges Freeman, who she interviewed after the release of “Going in Style.,” gazed at her desirously and told her that she looked “ripe.”
“Boy, do I wish I was there,” the actor reportedly told Mela.
Melas notified CNN’s Human Resources department, who then relayed the allegations to the movie’s distributor, Warner Bros. The actor did not face repercussions because Warner Bros. employees staffers present during exchange said they found nothing wrong with Freeman’s actions.
According to CNN, “After the encounter with Freeman, Melas started making calls to see if other women had experienced anything similar, or whether this was an isolated incident. She soon learned that other women had similar stories — and so she, and later her co-author, began this months-long reporting process.”
In 1996, Freeman launched Revelations Entertainment with business partner Lori McCreary. The mission of the production company was to help black actors compete for leading roles in Hollywood.
A former female Revelations staffer alleges Freeman approached her with a group of friends and asked point blank – staring at her lustfully – “How do you feel about sexual harassment?”
“I was stunned,” the women said.
“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.'”
Another female former Revelations staffer says, despite being absent from the company’s headquarters, made both men women at the office deeply uncomfortable.
One male former staffer referred to Morgan as a “creepy uncle,” recounting how shortly after his 2008 car accident, the actor randomly began rubbing a female employee’s shoulder during an office visit.
“The intern got visibly red and wiggled out of his grasp, it was awkward.”
Freeman’s film career spans more than five decades and is marked by noted performances in classic films from Lean on Me to Glory to The Shawshank Redemption to Driving Miss Daisy, Bruce Almighty, and Million Dollar Baby, for he won on Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
The veteran screen star is now known for his sterling screen roles as he is for his commitment to left-wing causes.
In October 2016, seven months after narrating a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign ad, Freeman starred in another ad for the failed Democratic candidate. Last September, Morgan was featured in a political video in which he demanded President Donald Trump confess to the American people the true extent of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Earlier this month, Freeman was among the Hollywood luminaries associated with the No Rifle Association initiative (#NoRA) to sign a letter demanding Bank of America revoke a loan made to a gun manufacture Remington Arms.
Freeman is now among the dozens of Hollywood heavyweights, including actor Kevin Spacey, movie producer Brett Ratner, and music mogul Russell Simons, who have been accused of sexual misconduct.
Read the full CNN report here.