At least 16 people have accused Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour, CNN reported on Thursday. Of the 16 people who spoke to CNN, eight said Freeman had sexually harassed them.
The 16 people claimed Freeman behaved inappropriately with them on movie sets or while promoting his movies or at his production company Revelations Entertainment. The actor has not yet responded to the allegations.
An unidentified production assistant said Freeman had touched her inappropriately and passed unnecessary comments on her body and clothing in 2015 on the sets of Going in Style. In another incident, a senior member of the production staff of the 2012 movie Now You See Me alleged that Freeman sexually harassed her and a female assistant by commenting on their bodies.
Four people who worked with the production teams on movie sets with Freeman over the last decade said the actor behaved in ways that made women feel uncomfortable.
CNN also spoke to three entertainment reporters who claimed Freeman was inappropriate with them at press junkets. One of them, Chloe Melas, is the co-author of the CNN report. Melas said Freeman behaved inappropriately with her when she interviewed him at a press junket for Going in Style. A spokesperson for Warner Bros, the entertainment company that produced and distributed the movie, confirmed Melas’ accusation, but declined to comment further.
Six former staff members of Revelations Entertainment said they had witnessed Freeman’s inappropriate behaviour around women, including passing sexual comments. A woman who worked as a manager at the company said that there were instances when Freeman would come by her desk and stare at her. “If I ever passed him, he would stare at me in an awkward way, would look me up and down, sometimes stopping and just staring,” she told CNN.
Freeman is the latest Hollywood actor to be accused of sexual harassment after the #MeToo and Times Up movements began around October 2017. The movements, which seek to expose sexual harassment and assault, especially at workplace, gathered momentum after Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment by nearly 70 women, including actors Ashley Judd, Rose Mc Gowan, Asia Argento and Angelina Jolie.
Soon, several people from within and outside the film industry accused him and many other actors such as Dustin Hoffman, Brett Ratner, Geoffrey Rush, Ryan Seacrest and Kevin Spacey of sexual harassment, leading to the #MeToo movement.