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In Second 'Apology', Morgan Freeman Seeks Refuge in 'Misplaced Compliments'

The actor released a longer, more specific statement through his publicist Stan Rosenfield that read that he didn't assault any woman and his compliments were taken out of context and it was never his intent to make anyone uncomfortable.


Updated:May 26, 2018, 11:18 AM IST
In Second 'Apology', Morgan Freeman Seeks Refuge in 'Misplaced Compliments'
File Photo of Morgan Freeman (Reuters)

Los Angeles: Octogenarian Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman, who was recently accused of sexual harassment by eight women, has now issued a new statement on the entire issue.

The actor released a longer, more specific statement through his publicist Stan Rosenfield that read that he didn't assault any woman and his compliments were taken out of context. The statement read,

"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. All victims of assault and harassment deserve to be heard. And we need to listen to them. But it is not right to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or humor.

"I admit that I am someone who feels a need to try to make women—and men—feel appreciated and at ease around me. As a part of that, I would often try to joke with and compliment women, in what I thought was a light-hearted and humorous way.

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.

But I also want to be clear: I did not create unsafe work environments. I did not assault women. I did not offer employment or advancement in exchange for sex. Any suggestion that I did so is completely false."

–Morgan Freeman

The Oscar-winning actor said that he was not always coming across the way he intended and that's the reason he apologised earlier, just after the devastating news. Sixteen people, eight of whom say they were victims, described to CNN a range of troubling behavior by Freeman on production sets or promotional tours.

The downfall of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein last October triggered a US reckoning over sexual harassment and abuse that has toppled a litany of powerful men across a variety of sectors including entertainment, politics and media.

The actor, who turns 81 next week, issued a quick apology after the news network published its report."Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected -- that was never my intent." Freeman said in an earlier statement. "

One of the most bankable, respected actors in the business, Morgan was honored with a lifetime achievement award in January that the Screen Actors Guild is now considering withdrawing, the organization told AFP.

A spokeswoman for the guild acknowledged Freeman's right to due process but described the allegations as "compelling and devastating," and said its starting point was to believe the "courageous" women who had complained.

"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," she said.

A CNN report has quoted multiple women, including journalists, describing troubling incidents throughout the 80-year-old actor's career that spans nearly five decades. Following the allegations, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is in the process of determining if any action will be necessary regarding its lifetime achievement award recipient.

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