UPDATE: Freeman has responded to the allegations and apologized:
“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy,” Freeman said in a statement. “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”
ORIGINAL STORY: Morgan Freeman, the Academy Award winning actor has been accused by eight women of inappropriate behavior and harassment according to a CNN report. Freeman, 80, has not responded to the allegations.
According to the CNN report, Freeman allegedly attempted to lift one production assistant’s skirt up during filming of the 2015 movie “Going In Style,” with Alan Arkin and Michael Caine. “He kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear,” the production assistant said. He never successfully lifted up the skirt and Arkin made a comment telling him to stop. “Morgan got freaked out and didn’t know what to say,” the assistant said.
Another woman who was a senior member of the production staff of the movie “Now You See Me” in 2012 told CNN that Freeman harassed her and her female assistant on numerous occasions during filming by making comments about their bodies, repeatedly. “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.
16 people spoke to CNN, helping establish a pattern of inappropriate behavior by Freeman on set and elsewhere. Lori McCreary, Freeman’s co-founder in his production company Revelations Entertainment, witnessed one incident and was the target of disparaging comments by Freeman in a public setting.
Four people who worked in production capacities on movie sets with Freeman over the last ten years described him as repeatedly behaving in ways that made women feel uncomfortable at work. Two, including the production assistant on “Going in Style” whose skirt he allegedly attempted to lift, said Freeman subjected them to unwanted touching. Three said he made public comments about women’s clothing or bodies. But each of them said they didn’t report Freeman’s behavior, with most saying it was because they feared for their jobs. Instead, some of the women — both on movie sets and at Revelations — said, they came up with ways to combat the alleged harassment on their own, such as by changing the way they dressed when they knew he would be around.
More on this story as it develops…