Morgan Freeman was accused of harassment and inappropriate behavior in a CNN piece, to which he has released an apology by saying that he never intended to make ‘anyone feels disrespected or uncomfortable.’
The 80-year-old, Hollywood star of several blockbusters, was accused of behaving inappropriately on shooting sets.
A woman, who preferred to stay anonymous, claimed that Freeman harassed her repeatedly while she was working on a set of the film Going In Style as a production assistant.
Freeman released two statements, in the first statement he apologized after a piece was written by an investigative journalist at CNN.
In his latest statement, he said that he is devastated that eighty years of his life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye because of the reports that surfaced on Thursday.
He furthermore said that he would joke a lot and compliment females to make them feel at ease and comfortable around him.
The multimillionaire, whose worth is around $200m, accepted the fact that despite his good intentions he was ‘not coming across the way he intended.’
He added: ‘All victims of harassment and assault deserve to be heard. And we must listen to them.’
‘But it is not okay to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or jokes.’
‘I admit that I am kind of a person who feels a need to try to make women – and men – feel appreciated and at ease and comfortable when I’m around.’
‘As a part of that, I would often try to make a joke with and compliment females, in what I considered was a light-hearted and humorous way.’
‘But sadly, I was not always being perceived the way I intended.’
He claimed that the reported misinterpretation of his actions is the reason why he issued an apology in his first statement the he released on Thursday and he will continue doing so to all the people who might be upset about his behaviour.
He added: ‘But I also want to shed light on the fact that I did not create unsafe work environments. I did not assault females. I did not offer employment or any sort advancement in exchange for intercourse.’
‘Any suggestion that I did so is completely false and misrepresentation of the facts.’
In the CNN investigative report, 16 people have alleged a same pattern of behavior, some of those incidents were witnessed by people and even caught on camera.
As a result of these allegations, Freeman was fired as the voice of Vancouver Public Transport.
‘Due to the information we’ve received this morning of allegations regarding actor Morgan Freeman, TransLink has decided to pause his voice announcements as part of a VISA ad campaign on our transit system,’ the organization stated.
The Screen Actors Guild said that they are also under consideration of stripping him of his lifetime achievement award.
Its spokesman told media outlet:
‘These are compelling and devastating allegations against Morgan Freeman which are absolutely contrary to all the steps that we are taking to ensure a safe work environment for the professionals in this industry.’
One woman described him as a ‘creepy uncle’ and other claimed that she was harassed when she was 6 months pregnant, he called her ‘ripe.’