Morgan Freeman’s SAG Award might be revoked after harassment claims

SAG-AFTRA is reconsideringMorgan Freeman’s Lifetime Achievement Award after eight people came forward with accusations of sexual harassment.

“These are compelling and devastating allegations which are absolutely contrary to all the steps that we are taking to ensure a safe work environment for the professions in this industry,” a SAG-AFTRA spokesperson said in a statement to Us Weekly on Thursday, May 24. “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.”

The 80-year-old actor, who won the award in January, denied all allegations against him in a statement to Us earlier on Thursday. “Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy,” the Oscar winner said. “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”

Rita Moreno and Morgan Freeman onstage during the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Rita Moreno and Morgan Freeman onstage during the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Freeman’s statement came in response to a CNN report based on interviews with 16 people claiming to have witnessed or experienced the Going in Style actor’s alleged abuse.

A senior production staff member on the 2013 flick Now You See Me claimed that Freeman inappropriately commented on her and her colleagues’ bodies while on set. “We knew that if he was coming by … not to wear any top that would show our breasts, not wear anyting that would show our bottoms, meaning not wearing clothes that [were] fitted,” she told the network.

Even more, a production assistant who worked with Freeman on 2017’s Going in Style alleged that he “kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear.” She claimed that Freeman didn’t stop until costar Alan Arkin stepped in.

CNN reporter Chloe Melas also accused Freeman of sexually harassing her at a press junket last year when she was six months pregnant. According to Melas, the Shawshank Redemption actor told her she was “ripe” and looked her up and down multiple times.

A male employee at Freeman’s movie production company, Revelations Entertainment, also alleged that his boss was “very inappropriate.”

“It’s hard because on set he is the most powerful person on it,” the former staffer told CNN. “It’s weird because you just don’t expect it from Morgan Freeman, someone who you respect.”

Morgan Freeman through the years
See Gallery
Morgan Freeman through the years
Publicity still of American actor Morgan Freeman in the PBS TV series 'The Electric Company,' 1971. (Photo by John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images)
L-R Morgan Freeman , James Lipton at Mighty Gents Broadway opening party April 12 1978 (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
ATTICA - TV Movie - Airdate: March 2, 1980. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) MORGAN FREEMAN
ABC MOVIE FOR TV - 'Attica' - Airdate: March 2, 1980. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) MORGAN FREEMAN;DAVID HARRIS;EXTRAS
From left, American actress Dana Ivey, Canadian-born actress Fay Wray (1907 - 2004), and American actor Morgan Freeman share a laugh backstage at the John Houseman Theatre (West 42nd Street) after a performance of the play 'Driving Miss Daisy,' starring both Ivey and Freeeman, New York, New York, Novemeber 1987. (Photo by Tom Gates/Pictorial Parade/Getty Images)
Morgan Freeman (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Joseph L. Brooks, Morgan Freeman & Jack Nicholson (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Morgan Freeman and Dana Ivey in costume for the hit play 'Driving Miss Daisy' in June 1987. (Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Joseph L. Brooks, Morgan Freeman & Jack Nicholson (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Morgan Freeman (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10: (ITALY OUT, NEWSDAY OUT, NY DAILY NEWS OUT) Actors Morgan Freeman and James Earl Jones pose together outside of the John Golden Theater on February 10, 2011 in New York City. Morgan Freeman played Hoke Colburn in the 1989 film adaptation of 'Driving Miss Daisy', while James Earl Jones currently plays Hoke Colburn in the revival of the play 'Driving Miss Daisy'. (Photo by Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 04: Actors Morgan Freeman (left) and Jessica Tandy. They starred together in the 1989 movie, 'Driving Miss Daisy.' (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
CANADA - SEPTEMBER 12: Morgan Freeman: Busy actor; photographed at the Toronto film festival; appears in Johnny Handsome and will star in the movie version of Driving Miss Daisy. (Photo by Erin Combs/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Actress Jessica Tandy and Actor Morgan Freeman attend the 27th Annual Publicists Guild of America Awards on March 23, 1990 at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Actor Morgan Freeman listening as guest of Congressional Arts Caucaus luncheon re: NEA grant denials to artists deemed obscene. (Photo by Robert Sherbow/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
Tyne Daly and Morgan Freeman (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Morgan Freeman stands with Joe Clark, who he portrays in the film 'Lean On Me', 1989. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
Actor Morgan Freeman holding gun during rehearsals for play. (Photo by Time Life Pictures/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Morgan Freeman during 43rd Annual Writers Guild of America Awards at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
US actor Morgan Freeman poses during a photocall for the premiere of Clint Eastwood's film 'Invictus' in Madrid, on January 27, 2010. The Clint Eastwood film 'Invictus', about South Africa's 1995 Rugby World Cup victory, stars Morgan Freeman playing Mandela. AFP PHOTO/JAVIER SORIANO. (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)
Morgan Freeman during 'Deep Impact' Hollywood Premiere at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Sam Levi/WireImage)
377825 01: UNDATED FILE PHOTO: Morgan Freeman. (photo by Newsmakers)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 26: Actor Morgan Freeman attends a photocall for the Spanish premiere of the movie ?The Sum of All Fears? July 26, 2002 at the Hotel Ritz in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/ Getty Images)
Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: US actor Morgan Freeman speaks during as press conference 15 December 2005 in Dubai, on the sidelines of the Gulf emirate's international film festival. Freeman talked about his new film with Kevin Spacey and Justin Timberlake, 'Edison', directed by David J. Burke. AFP PHOTO/NASSER YOUNES (Photo credit should read NASSER YOUNES/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 05: Actor Morgan Freeman attends the New York premiere of 'Married Life' presented by The Cinema Society at the Tribeca Cinemas on March 5, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Michael Douglas and Morgan Freeman appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 08: (SOUTH AFRICA, UAE, BRAZIL OUT) Actor Morgan Freeman poses for photographers during a media conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 8 December 2009 in Johhansburgh. Journalists were kept waiting for Freeman as he first went to suprise former president Nelson Mandela with a surprise visit. Freeman is currently in South Africa for the premier of the Hollywood movie 'Invictus' which is based on the 1995 Rugby World Cup in which Freeman plays former president Nelson Mandela. Freeman told the media that he?s been ready to play Mandela since the nineties, all he was waiting for was the right project. When asked if he was born to play the role of Mandela, he answered that he was born to act. (Photo by Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL to get the hottest pop culture news delivered straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.