UPDATED with reaction: Multiple women say actor Morgan Freeman subjected them to harassment or inappropriate behavior on set, while promoting his movies and at his production company Revelations Entertainment, CNN reports.
The cable news organization says eight women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior. CNN interviewed 16 people for its report, including some who said they witnessed the behavior.
One production assistant said she was subjected to unwanted touching and comments about her figure and clothing on a nearly daily basis, including one incident in which the 80-year-old actor allegedly “kept trying to lift up my skirt” while inquiring if she was wearing underwear.
The accusers, most of whom CNN does not identify, describe a climate of harassment and inappropriate behavior at Revelations Entertainment. Freeman’s co-founder, Lori McCreary, allegedly witnessed one such incident, CNN reports.
This alleged misconduct is not limited to Freeman’s work on set or within his company.
CNN reports that three entertainment writers recounted inappropriate remarks made to them during press junkets. One of these women, CNN’s Chloe Melas, described an encounter when she was six months pregnant when she interviewed him during a promotional tour for the 2017 movie Going in Style. He allegedly looked her up and down and made suggestive remarks including, “You look so ripe.”
The allegations could not be independently verified by Deadline.
Freeman has had an enduring career in Hollywood, collecting an Oscar for supporting actor for Million Dollar Baby, and nominations for his roles in Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and Street Smart. This year, he collected the SAG Awards’ highest honor, for lifetime achievement.
Freeman’s next film, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, is due out November 2. Disney is distributing the movie, which is a Mark Gordon Co. production. He also is working on Angel Has Fallen, the next installment of the Olympus Has Fallen franchise, and also is attached to star in Cold Warriors, which is in development with producer Avi Lerner and targeting a 2019 release.
“Morgan is 80 years old, and he is a lovely man.” said Lerner, who has worked with the actor on set on multiple movies. “I don’t believe it’s going to affect my movies. I have to tell you that I’ve been with him on the set for many movies over 15 years, and I’ve never seen one inappropriate thing in my life.”