We are truly in a time of change in Hollywood. Thanks to the #MeToo movement, more and more victims of sexual abuse, discrimination and inappropriate behavior have felt the courage to come forward with their horrific tales. Perpetrators who have hid behind their fame and fortune are finally being shown for who they are, such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, T.J. Miller, Luc Besson, and more. Now, another name to possibly add to that list? Legendary actor and producer, Morgan Freeman.
The 80 year old Freeman is being accused of sexual comments and inappropriate behavior by 8 women, with another 8 coming forward as witnesses to said acts. The in-depth CNN investigation began with a reporter for the company who was covering the press junket for the Morgan Freeman film, Going In Style, was harassed. Chloe Melas, who was six month’s pregnant at the time, was supposedly subjected to crude comments and prolonged touching from the Academy Award winning actor.
Freeman reportedly said she was “ripe”, and made multiple comments of “wishing he was there” during conception (one of which was actually caught on camera, but out of context). When Melas reported the incident to CNN’s Human Resources, they in turn contacted Warner Bros. HR, but after their internal investigation, nothing really came of it. CNN removed Melas from the press junket to avoid further issues and for her safety.
Melas decided to do a bit of investigating on her own, to find out if this was just an isolated incident, or if there were other victims out there. Turns out, she found other victims. A young production assistant on the same film that Melas was covering said she had several months of harassment from Freeman, including unwanted touching and near daily inappropriate comments about her looks and her clothing. It even went so far as Freeman one time attempting to lift her skirt (unsuccessfully) and inquiring if she was wearing underwear. She would attempt to move away, but he continued his attempts.
Eventually, she said,
“Alan [Arkin] made a comment telling him to stop. Morgan got freaked out and didn’t know what to say.”
The accusers don’t just come from this particular film, either. A senior member of the Now You See Me production staff said that her and her assistants were constantly getting lude comments about their clothing, so much so that they started planning their outfits based on what days he’d be on set, and refused to wear anything revealing or form fitting around him.
CNN has reached out to several people who have worked for and/or with Freeman over the years. Many praised him and said they never saw even an inkling of inappropriate behavior, others knew who they were investigating before being informed, but refused to comment further.
Morgan Freeman is yet another legendary actor whose name is being added to the list of potential offenders. The #MeToo movement is making drastic moves in the entertainment industry, ending the days where people in power – such as high profile actors, producers, directors, etc., could commit heinous and inappropriate acts, even out in public, without consequence.
Whilst the allegations against Freeman are still new and no actual proof has yet to be produced, people are starting to see victims truly stand up for themselves and others, and this is just another example of that. Freeman has come forward with 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.”
We’ll keep you posted on any new developments.