WOMEN
05/25/2018 03:40 am ET

Morgan Freeman Dropped From Marketing Campaigns After Harassment Accusations

Both Visa and Vancouver's public transit system have suspended work with him.

At least two organizations have decided to drop Morgan Freeman after eight women accused him of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment.

Women who previously worked with the Oscar-winning actor told CNN that he repeatedly made comments about their bodies or their clothing and frequently engaged in inappropriate touching.

In response to the allegations, Visa announced it had suspended him from its marketing campaign.

“We are aware of the allegations that have been made against Mr. Freeman. At this point, Visa will be suspending our marketing in which the actor is featured,” Visa said in a statement.

TransLink, Vancouver’s public transit system, also decided to stop using Freeman’s voice as part of an ad campaign to promote its Visa credit card and mobile payments on bus and Skytrain operations.

“In light of information we’ve learned ... of allegations regarding actor Morgan Freeman, TransLink has decided to pause his voice announcements as part of a Visa ad campaign on our transit system,” the transit system said a statement. “We will be reaching out to Visa to discuss further.”

A few hours after the report was released, Freeman, 80, issued an apology:

“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 apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”

A production assistant working on the 2015 film “Going in Style” said Morgan made numerous comments about her body, asked her several times if she was wearing underwear and tried to lift her skirt. Another worker on the set said women wore loose-fitting clothing in an effort to avoid Freeman’s attention.

Entertainment Tonight released footage on Thursday evening of two on-air interviews with Freeman that also revealed his attitude toward women. During an interview for the 2016 film “London Has Fallen,” Freeman asked a young female reporter, “My goodness, are you married? Fool around with other guys? I’m just asking.”

In 2015, he told author Janet Mock: “You got a dress halfway between your knee and your hips, and you sit down right across from me and you cross your legs.”

Mock, who was a special correspondent for the interview, said Freeman’s treatment of her was an “exhibition of the casual nature at which men in positions of power believe that everything belongs to them, including women’s bodies.”

Freeman’s union, SAG-AFTRA, is considering what to do about Freeman’s Life Achievement Award. The award is given to actors who represent the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” CNN reported.

“These are compelling and devastating allegations which are absolutely contrary to all the steps that we are taking to ensure a safe work environment,” the union said in a statement. “Any accused person has the right to due process, but it is our starting point to believe the courageous voices who come forward to report incidents of harassment ... we are reviewing what corrective actions may be warranted at this time.”

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

CONVERSATIONS