Morgan Freeman became the latest Hollywood star caught up in a sexual misconduct scandal on Thursday, May 24, with CNN releasing a bombshell report that reveals the accounts of at least 8 women who claim to have been harassed and/or inappropriately touched by the celebrated actor.
In a lengthy article that was co-written by one of his accusers (Chloe Melas), Freeman is implied to have, for decades, carried around a reputation for questionable behavior towards women colleagues. Melas poses in the piece that the industry is so familiar with the patterns he is said to have exhibited, that one source who she reached out to for the story accurately guessed who it was she was inquiring about before she even mentioned his name.
Another source is noted for asserting that the sexually suggestive remarks Freeman would allegedly make, the tendency he's displayed to ogle lustingly, and his penchant to make uninvited physical contact with the women in his company went largely unchecked because of power over their careers, but that he's generally been viewed by some as a "Creepy uncle" like figure.
Several production staffers were interviewed, including some who worked alongside Freeman when he'd do projects with Revelations Entertainment. Freeman has actually faced bad press over an incident related to the company, stemming back to when during a producer's conference, he is alleged to have told Revelations co-founder Lori McCreary "She wants to be thought of as serious, but you can't get away from the short dresses." When confronted about the incident in the past he's disputed whether it was at all serious, telling Today at one time that "It was just something I said in jest" before questioning "How is this news?"
Freeman reportedly went further than just comments on one occasion, according to a production assistant, who says that while working on the set of Going in Style in 2015, he rubbed her lower back and started asking if she was wearing underwear. One subject of the article (a senior production staffer) went so far as to say that the women he worked with on a project she was involved in "knew that if he was coming by ... not to wear any top that would show our breasts, not to wear anything that would show our bottoms, meaning not wearing clothes that were fitted."
Melas says she recalls being told by Freeman, while she was pregnant, that he wishes he could have been present during the conception of the child because he found her to be "ripe." According to the CNN article contributor, he made the remarks while the cameras at a press junket were rolling.
Many of the allegations being leveled against him appear to be of the nature that he thought he was being humorous, but by in large happened to be breaching personal and workplace boundaries. One time, he even seemed to understand how racy his problematic act was and sarcastically joked about it. "How do you feel about sexual harassment?" one former Revelations Entertainment staffer recollects him asking her. When she countered his sarcasm with a bit of her own, in replying that she loved it, he turned to some male crew members to say, "See guys, this is how you do it," she claims.