The Screen Actors Guild is in the process of determining what, if any, action will be necessary regarding its recent lifetime achievement award recipient Morgan Freeman, who on Thursday was accused of engaging in a pattern of alleged inappropriate behavior and harassment in a CNN investigation.
“These are compelling and devastating allegations which are absolutely contrary to all the steps that we are taking to insure (sic) a safe work environment for the professionals in this industry,” the union said in a statement via a SAG-AFTRA spokesperson. “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. Given Mr. Freeman recently received one of our union’s most prestigious honors recognizing his body of work, we are therefore reviewing what corrective actions may be warranted at this time.”
Eight women accused Freeman of harassment or inappropriate behavior in a report published by CNN on Thursday.
Several of the women CNN spoke to said Freeman made frequent comments about their bodies and clothing choices in incidents that took place on movie sets or at his production company, Revelations Entertainment. Two of those eight said they were subjected to unwanted touching by the actor.
One woman, who said she was a production assistant on Freeman’s film “Going in Style,” said that while filming in 2015, Freeman subjected her to unwanted touching of her lower back and comments about her figure on a near-daily basis.
After the publication of CNN’s story, Freeman released a statement.
“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy,” he said. “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”
Freeman received his award from SAG back in January at the annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
At the time, he said, “This is beyond honor, this is a place in history.”
CNN’s Chloe Melas and An Phung contributed to this report.