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Morgan Freeman Accused of Sexually Harassing Eight Women in a Soothing, Buttery Tone

In a report by CNN, Morgan Freeman has been accused of sexual harassment by eight different women. I really want to give Morgan Freeman the benefit of the doubt here because he’s a national treasure, but it doesn’t look good.

In all, 16 people spoke to CNN about Freeman as part of this investigation, eight of whom said they were victims of what some called harassment and others called inappropriate behavior by Freeman. Eight said they witnessed Freeman’s alleged conduct. These 16 people together described a pattern of inappropriate behavior by Freeman on set, while promoting his movies and at his production company Revelations Entertainment.

[…]

Several other times during this investigation, when a CNN reporter contacted a person who had worked with Freeman to try to ask them if they had seen or been subjected to inappropriate behavior by an actor they had worked with — not initially even naming the actor they were asking about — the person would immediately tell them they knew exactly who the reporter had in mind: Morgan Freeman. Some of those people were sources for this investigation while others declined to comment further or did not want what they said used in this story.

Okay, so what exactly did Morgan Freeman do? Well, the good news is he didn’t take his dick out like Louis C.K. or Harvey Weinstein. Freeman’s behavior was more along the lines of a character in Mad Men or an idiot teenage boy. He made a lot of creepy, inappropriate comments about the women who he worked with or to female reporters, and he kept trying to flip up a production assistant’s skirt on the set of Going in Style until Alan Arkin told him to cut it out. Listen to what Freeman’s 79th birthday party at his production company, Revelations Entertainment, was like.

People at the party had to stand in a circle, a former executive at the company who attended the party told CNN, and tell Freeman who they were and what they did. Then, the former executive said, Freeman went up to women in the circle and would “stand maybe within an inch of their face and just look them up and down and not say anything, and then would move on to the next woman and he’d stand like within an inch of their face and look them up and down and not say anything, and it was really, really strange.” The former executive added, “It was really weird and he did it to every woman but of course he didn’t do it to any of the men. He didn’t speak to any of the men.”

The other stories, aside from the skirt flipping, are basically some version of this. Freeman looked women up and down and made inappropriate comments about their looks or how he’d like to sleep with them. You might think it’s not the worst thing in the world, and it isn’t, but it’s disrespectful and dehumanizing and the fact that Freeman didn’t pull his dick out like Louis C.K. or rape anyone like (allegedly) Harvey Weinstein doesn’t make it okay.

And if you’re conflicted about this, you like Morgan Freeman’s work and think he’s had a positive impact on society as a whole, well… you’re right, he’s an incredibly talented person and has done a lot of good. It’s okay to acknowledge that and still say that his behavior towards the women he worked with was unacceptable.

Morgan Freeman issued the following statement on the issue:

“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 apologise to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected – that was never my intent.”

I don’t have much trouble believing Freeman didn’t realize what he was doing wasn’t okay. It’s the sort of behavior that was socially acceptable not too long ago, and as most of the people involved in these stories said, he’s Morgan Freeman, he’s so powerful and famous no one wanted to tell him he was being inappropriate, aside from Alan Arkin. But that doesn’t make his behavior okay, and even if it was acceptable to be disrespectful in the past, it was still disrespectful, even then.

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The skirt thing was inappropriate, but the other stuff? Sounds like he’s a very endearing old man that loves women.
For shame! The girl that left the movie industry because he complimented her and patted her on the back? Good gods, how did she ever survive???

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