Sixteen people spoke to CNN about Freeman’s alleged inappropriate behaviour, describing multiple incidents throughout his career.
In total, 16 people spoke to CNN about Freeman as part of the investigation, eight witnesses and eight who claim to be victims.
The report details the 80-year-old actor’s alleged pattern of making unwanted advances on women while he was on movie sets, at press junkets or working with his production company Revelations Entertainment.
One woman who worked on the set of Freeman’s movie “Going in Style”in 2015 says that the actor subjected her to sexually charged comments and unwanted touches on a near-daily basis, like “trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear.”
After Freeman kept trying to lift her skirt, his co-star Alan Arkin “made a comment telling him to stop,” she said. “Morgan got freaked out and didn’t know what to say.”
A senior member of the production staff of the movie “Now You See Me”in 2012 told CNN that Freeman would comment on the bodies of the women on set and that they would be careful not to wear fitted clothing around him.
The staff member said that Freeman “did comment on our bodies … We 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.”
The accusers also include three entertainment reporters who claim Freeman harassed them during interviews or press events. One of the reporters was Chloe Melas, the co-author of CNN’s story.
Melas says she interviewed Freeman for “Going in Style” while she was pregnant. She says that Freeman ogled her body while saying things like “You are ripe” and “Boy, do I wish I was there,” in reference to her pregnancy.
Multiple women said they never spoke publicly about Freeman’s alleged behaviour before because they were afraid of losing their jobs.
Freeman was honoured with a lifetime achievement award by SAG-AFTRA in January, but in the wake of the allegations the union is now considering rescinding the award.
“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 professionals in this industry,” a SAG-AFTRA spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. “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.”
The statement concluded: “Given Mr. Freeman recently received one of our union’s most prestigious honours recognizing his body of work, we are therefore reviewing what corrective actions may be warranted at this time.”
The actor’s rep provided ET Canada with the following statement from Freeman: “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.”
In light of the CNN report, TransLink has announced it is pausing the rollout of Freeman’s voice announcements on SkyTrain and buses following some “serious allegations” against him Thursday morning.
Freeman had recorded a series of announcements that were to be heard on parts of the TransLink system.
The actor was featured in VISA spots about TransLink’s new tap-to-pay feature that will also offer advice on bus etiquette.
—With files from Amy Judd