Following reports of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior that surfaced regarding Morgan Freeman last week, the famed actor has now responded to the claims. After CNN interviewed a total of 16 people, in which eight women claimed that they had been victims of harassment, footage of his actions has also surfaced. During a press interview, the actor said, “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent,” and now Freeman has issued a formal statement via his publicist.
“I am devastated that 80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye, by Thursday’s media reports.
All victims of assault and harassment deserve to be heard. And we need to listen to them. But it is not right to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or humor.
I admit that I am someone who feels a need to try to make women—and men—feel appreciated and at ease around me. As a part of that, I would often try to joke with and compliment women, in what I thought was a light-hearted and humorous way.
Clearly I was not always coming across the way I intended. And that is why I apologized Thursday and will continue to apologize to anyone I might have upset, however unintentionally.
But I also want to be clear: I did not create unsafe work environments. I did not assault women. I did not offer employment or advancement in exchange for sex. Any suggestion that I did so is completely false.”
- Morgan Freeman
It remains to see how the situation will unfold, but so far credit card company Visa has suspended its recent marketing campaign with the actor due to the allegations. The Screen Actors Guild is also re-evaluating Freeman’s lifetime achievement award that he was presented with in January. Make sure to stay tuned for all the latest information, and in other news, disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein has turned himself in to authorities.