An investigative report published today by CNN has accused Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman of multiple allegations of “inappropriate behaviour,” including counts of sexual harassment that have contributed to what fellow women who have worked with him in the past call a “toxic work environment.”
The report is lengthy, made up of the combined accounts of sixteen different interview subjects. Of the sixteen, eight claimed to have been victim to the aforementioned harassment from the actor, which involved sexually-charged remarks about women’s clothes and bodies in addition to “unwanted touching.” Most damningly, the report cites a specific incident from the set the set of last year’s Zach-Braff-directed Going in Style where one woman claims that Freeman attempted to pull down and look under her skirt before being called out by costar Alan Arkin.
The subjects of his harassment include not only women on the set of his films, but also female entertainment journalists. This widespread history of inappropriate behaviour seems to have given Freeman a reputation within the industry, as many of the women interviewed admitted that, due to Freeman’s behavior, they often “[changed] the way they dressed when they knew he would be around” as a method “to combat the alleged harassment.”
A publicist representing Freeman has already responded to the report with a claim from the actor stating that “Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy,” adding that “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”