In the last few months, there has been a deluge of sexual misconduct allegations surfacing across Hollywood. Women have spoken out about their experiences with predators that litter Tinsel Town and it seems like there is a new name on the spotlight every week. This week – Morgan Freeman.
A few days ago on May 29, 2018, CNN published a scathing article accusing the seasoned actor of sexual misconduct on eight women he has worked with in the past. According to the story, Freeman subjected these women to unwanted touches. Not only that, he also made unwanted comments about their bodies. CNN spoke to sixteen people, eight of which have experienced Freeman’s harassment first hand. Meanwhile, eight have seen it happen to their colleagues. Here’s a part of what the publication wrote in their article.
“In all, 16 people spoke to CNN about Freeman as part of this investigation, eight of whom said they were victims of what some called harassment and others called inappropriate behavior by Freeman. Eight said they witnessed Freeman’s alleged conduct. These 16 people together described a pattern of inappropriate behavior by Freeman on set, while promoting his movies and at his production company Revelations Entertainment”
As soon as CNN published the piece, Freeman issued a statement denying the allegations. While the actor apologized for making anyone feel uncomfortable, he denies accusations of sexual misconduct. According to Freeman, he didn’t create any unsafe work environments, nor did he assault any women.
The actor has since taken legal action against the accusations made by the CNN article. The actor’s camp has sent a 10-page letter to CNN demanding that they issue an apology. They also want the publication to retract the story:
“It is clear that CNN has defamed Mr. Freeman. CNN has inflicted serious injury on his reputation and career. At a minimum, CNN immediately needs to issue a retraction and apologize to Mr. Freeman through the same channels, and with the same level of attention, that it used to unjustly attack him.”
CNN has responded to Freeman explaining that the network would not back-down from reporting a very important issue. The network assures that no amount of intimidation would have them retract their story:
“The unfounded accusations made by Mr. Freeman’s lawyer are disappointing and are difficult to reconcile with Mr. Freeman’s own public statements in the aftermath of the story. CNN stands by its reporting and will respond forcefully to any attempt by Mr. Freeman or his representatives to intimidate us from covering this important public issue,”
The back-and-forth continues with Freeman’s camp, specifically his lawyer Robert Schwartz, responding to CNN. The actor’s representative revealed that they provided the network with on-the-record denials of the supposed “victims.” Thus, according to Schwartz, this means CNN made fake claims:
“We presented CNN with objective evidence, including videotapes and on-the-record denials by the claimed “victims,” that the alleged incident that gave rise to the story never happened. We proved to CNN, beyond any doubt, that the whole story was built on fakery. The credibility of the entire CNN attack on Mr. Freeman has now been undermined. And in choosing to ignore all of the evidence that we presented, CNN has confirmed our concerns about its reporters, its lack of oversight, and its gross misconduct in unjustifiably attacking Mr. Freeman.”
Thus far, charges from either camps have yet to be filed.