Morgan Freeman has now offered his own take on the allegations of sexual misconduct that recently came out against him.
It marks the actor's second apology following CNN's exposé on Freeman's reported instances of sexually inappropriate behavior in private and in public. Though eight people accused him of sexual improprieties, Freeman said his actions should not be equated with incidents of sexual assault or abuse in the workplace.
Morgan Freeman Did Not Assault Women, Or So He Claims
In his latest statement, Freeman begins by expressing disappointment at the media potentially tarnishing his decades-long career. The actor, besides playing a number of Oscar-nominated roles, is known for his iconic voice, which has been adapted into countless number of memes on the internet.
"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," said Freeman.
What Exactly Is Morgan Freeman Being Accused Of?
Freeman describes his reported behavior — which includes repeatedly lifting a woman's skirt and asking her if she was wearing underwear, making lewd comments about her clothing and figure on a daily basis, subjecting her to unwanted touching, and making sexually inappropriate comments toward a pregnant reporter during a press junket — as "light-hearted" and "humorous."
"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."
Freeman ends his apology by saying he did not create unsafe work environments, assault women, or promise them career advancements if they engaged in sexual relations with him.
"Any suggestion that I did so is completely false."
In all, CNN talked to 16 people for its report on Freeman's alleged behavior, and of those, eight said they were victims of his actions, which some called sexual harassment, while some regarded as inappropriate behavior. Together, their testimonies illustrated a pattern of actions that caused great discomfort among a number of employees working in Freeman's production company Revelations Entertainment.
The repercussions have been swift: since the report was published, Visa has canceled a marketing campaign that featured the actor. A public transport company in Canada has also removed his voice from adverts. What's more, The Screen Actors Guild has announced that it's presently determining if it'll take action on Freeman, who received the organization's lifetime achievement award this past January.
Freeman has become the latest name in the growing list of Hollywood men alleged with committing sexual transgressions against women in one way or another. This list includes Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Luc Besson, and many others.