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Morgan Freeman accuses inappropriate behavior, harassment

But the job quickly went over in several months of harassment, she told CNN. She claims that Freeman faced her almost daily with unwanted touches and comments about her figure and clothes. Freeman would put his hand on her lower back or rub her lower back, she said.

During one incident, she said Freeman "kept trying to pick up my coat and ask if I was wearing underwear." He never successfully lifted her skirt, she said – he would touch it and try to lift it, she would go away, and then he would try again. Finally, she said, "Alan [Arkin] made a comment to stop, and Morgan was snapped and did not know what to say."

Freeman's allegedly inappropriate behavior was not confined to this one film other sources that have spoken with CNN. One woman, who was a senior member of the Now You See Me production team in 201

2, told CNN that Freeman had sexually harassed her and her assistant on numerous occasions by commenting on her body.

"He commented on our bodies … We knew when he came by … not to wear a top that would show our breasts, not to wear anything that would show our bottom, meaning that we do not wear clothes [were] fit, "she said.

Freeman, at 80, is one of Hollywood's biggest stars with a film career spanning nearly five decades. His starring roles in films such as "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Shawshank Redemption" in the late 1980s and early 1990s made him a household name. He won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for "Million Dollar Baby" of 2004 and has received four more Oscar nominations. His voiceover work has also become iconic, including his narrative for the Oscar-winning documentaries "The Long Way Home" and "March of the Penguins". Morgan Freeman at an event in California in 2016. 19659007 Morgan Freeman at an event in California in 2016. "class =" media__image "src =" http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180523162106- 01-morgan-freeman-lead-image-large-169.jpg "/>

A total of 16 people in this investigation spoke with CNN about Freeman, eight of whom said they were victims of something called harassment Freeman's alleged behavior was described by eight as describing Freeman's pattern of inappropriate behavior on the set while promoting his films and production company Revelations Entertainment.

By This 16 described seven people an environment at Revelations Entertainment, the harassment or inappropriate behavior contained by Freeman there, with an incident allegedly by Lori McCreary, the M Founder of Freeman in the company, and was testified to another, in which she had the goal to humiliate Freeman's comments in a public setting. One of these seven people alleged that McCreary made a discriminatory remark regarding a candidate for a job at the Producers Guild of America, where McCreary is co-president.

Four people who have worked with freeman on film set production capacity over the past decade describe him as repeatedly being uncomfortable with work. Two, including the production assistant on Going in Style, whose skirt he was supposed to lift, said Freeman had touched her unintentionally. Three said he made public comments about women's clothing or body. But each of them said they did not report Freeman's behavior, most of them saying it was because they were worried about their jobs. Instead, some of the women – both in films and at Revelations – said they had found ways to combat the alleged harassment by changing their clothes, for example, when they knew he would be around.

CNN reached dozens of other people working for or with Freeman. Some praised Freeman, saying that they had never observed questionable behavior or that he was a perfect professional on set and in the office.

Several times during this investigation, when a CNN reporter contacted a person who had worked with Freeman, ask them if they saw inappropriate behavior by an actor they worked with, not even the actor, According to them, the person would immediately tell them that they knew exactly who the reporter was thinking: Morgan Freeman. Some of these individuals were sources for this investigation while others refused to comment further or did not want what they used in the story.

The behavior described by CNN shows another example of the systematic problems in the entertainment industry. The charges against Freeman are not about things that happened privately; it's about things that are supposed to have happened in front of witnesses in public – even in front of cameras. Before #MeToo, many men in the industry could behave without fear of consequences, because often when a powerful man did that, it was the victim that suffered repercussions.

CNN reached Freeman's spokesman for comment and then on his request, sent him a detailed list of allegations against Freeman. The spokesman did not respond to several follow-ups by email who wanted to comment on the allegations.

CNN also turned to a McCreary spokesman for providing a detailed list of allegations regarding Freeman's alleged behavior in Revelations and details of the lawsuit against her, as well as a series of questions regarding Freeman's alleged behavior Revelations and the environment there. The spokesman did not respond to several follow-ups via email search comment.

Freeman's allegations of inappropriate behavior are not limited to the limitations of his company or movie backdrops. Three entertainment reporters who spoke with CNN said Freeman had made inappropriate remarks to them during the press junkies, which are promotional events for journalists showing new films normally attended by the movie's biggest stars.

One of the three, CNN Entertainment reporter, Chloe Melas, the co-author of this article, says she was subjected to improper conduct by Freeman more than a year ago when she interviewed him at a press conference for "Going in Style." , According to Melas, who was six months pregnant at the time, Freeman shook hands with Melas in a room full of people, including his co-stars Arkin and Caine, and did not let her go, as he looked up and down and over and over again more once said a variation of "I wish I was there." She says he also told her, "You're ready." Cameras were on, recording during one of Freeman's remarks to Melas – "Boy, I wish, me would be there "- but not for the rest. As is usual with such amusements, Melas was the only CNN employee there at that time.

Afterwards, Melas reported what had happened to her supervisor who instructed her to use CNN. According to Melas, she was told that CNN HR had contacted her human resources colleague for Warner Bros., who produced and distributed the film and who, like CNN Time Warner, said that she was also told that Warner Bros. H R could not confirm the report, since only one of Freeman's comments was on video and the Warner Bros. staff present did not notice. Melas and her supervisor agreed that she would not handle the film.

Asked for a comment, Warner Bros. spokesman confirmed that what Melas said was correct, but declined to comment further. A representative Caine declined to comment. A representative from Arkin said he was not available for comment.

After meeting Freeman, Melas started phoning to see if other women had experienced something similar, or if this was an isolated incident. She soon learned that other women had similar stories – and so she and later her co-author started this month-long reporting process.

Inside Revelations Entertainment

  Morgan Freeman and his business partner Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary speak at a New York City 2016 event.
Freeman and Lori McCreary founded Revelations Entertainment in 1996. Variety reported last year that Freeman founded the company with McCreary because he was frustrated because he had no options for black actors and because he wanted to disclose the truth about serious issues – a mission that inspired the name "Revelations".

The company credits include a list of ambitious films on religion, apartheid, astronomy, and stem cell research. Revelations also produced the movie "Along Came a Spider" and the CBS show "Madam Secretary", both with strong female lead roles.

But former employees who spoke with CNN say that behind the facade of a progressive and artistic agenda The two founders of the company created a "toxic" working environment. Six former employees said they had experienced Freeman's questionable behavior in women, which they said contained sexual comments. A former female employee said she was the target of Freeman's sexual comments.

The former Revelations employee told CNN that Freeman was flanked by a group of men on the set of "Through the Wormhole" when she met the actor for the first time. He "looked me up and down," she said and then asked her, "What do you think about sexual harassment?"

"I was stunned," she told CNN. "That's the person I worked for, this is his company, I did not expect it at all … I said shyly," I love it "in a sarcastic way, hoping to understand the situation because it was me confused and then he turned to the guys in the crew … and said, "Look, people, that's how you do it."

A woman who was a Revelations manager told CNN that Freeman would sometimes "drop by" to my desk to say hello and he would just stand there staring at me, staring at my breasts. "

" If I ever passed him, he would stare at me, spy on me, and sometimes downstairs stop and just stare, "she said. "Once he stopped, looked up and down as I walked into a people's room, and everyone burst out laughing, and I literally froze and one of the people in the office said," Do not worry, that's only Morgan. "

" That kind of interaction was when I stopped wearing a skirt around the office when he was there, "said the former manager," I can not say it was an accident that I did at certain times Days he was there carrying a potato sack and a ponytail and doing my best to dodge him while he was in the office. "

Freeman was not in the office daily, said the former co-workers, but when he showed up He behaved like a "scary uncle," as a male former employee once said, "Once I saw Morgan go to an intern and started to massage her shoulder," he said. "The intern was visibly red and He shook his grip, it was embarrassing. "The incident struck him as Freeman used only one hand to touch the intern, since his other was injured in a car accident in 2008 that was largely covered by the press former appointment Oliver told CNN she was present when the former employee informed several people shortly after the incident about the incident.

CNN spoke with two male witnesses, each seeing a different occasion when Freeman turned women around. One case happened in the office while another happened at a corporate event.

Another incident occurred to people talking to CNN who witnessed them. Two former staff members who were there and an author for the Madam Secretary show who was also present described the scene to CNN.

For his 79th birthday, Revelations Freeman had offered a party in the office. According to sources, around 30 people attended the party, some of whom were new to the company and had never met the actor. McCreary was among those present, the sources said.

People at the party had to stand in a circle, a former executive from the company attending the party told CNN and told Freeman who they were and what they were doing. Then, the ex-manager said, Freeman went to women in a circle and "maybe just an inch away from her face and just saw her up and down and said nothing, and then he moved on to the next woman and he" I stand there in an inch from her face and look her up and down and say nothing, and it was really, really weird. "The former CEO added," It was really strange and he did it to every woman, but of course he did not do it to any of the men. He did not speak to any of the men. "

The author of" Madam Secretary, "who was at the party, said," We saw Morgan go round to the girls and get very close to them, he did it Not men. I do not know what he said, but we all thought it was weird and we could not wait to get out of there. Absolutely, there were sexual undertones. "After the beginning of the #Metoo movement, the same author said, the authors of the series wrote – with this incident in mind -" that Morgan would be the next person to be called. "

McCreary himself was also the subject of Freeman's humiliating comments: Before what was reportedly an audience of 400 at the Produced By conference in 2016, Freeman described what she wore during her first meeting: "She had a dress cut here." [19659023] "She wants to be considered serious," said Freeman of McCreary, who was on the same panel. "But you can not get away from the short dresses."

Freeman stood by his comments when he returned a few days later appeared in the "Today" show and presenter Savannah Guthrie said some people had been "surprised" by the panel's comments.

"It was just something I said joking when I first met them have, it was before m over 20, "he said to Guthrie. "How is the news?"

The Hollywood Reporter reported back then that McCreary "did not visibly respond to the comment." One of Revelations' earlier revelations told CNN that McCreary was visibly upset when she returned to the office

"I tried to comfort her and she was visibly upset and I think she was surprised and found it hurtful and embarrassing," said the former board. "She was devastated."

Five sources told CNN that there was no formal HR department at Revelations at the time. There was a rotation of executives serving as human resources officers, but former employees said they did not feel comfortable talking with executives about their workplace grievances. This prompted some employees to found a "survivor club" where they gathered to talk about their experiences with Revelations, five sources that were out of the office at meetings.

MeToo and Time Ups movements. Two days before the January January Screen Actors Guild Awards, when Freeman accepted a lifetime achievement award, McCreary released a statement on behalf of the Producers' Guild of America (PGA) to say that her board set new guidelines against sexual harassment for its members ratified. "The PGA is committed to Time's Up as a resource in the preparation of our protocols," she said in a press release issued with her co-president Gary Lucchesi, referring to the initiative to combat harassment and discrimination against women ,

However, Revelations' former employee, who said Freeman had asked her how she felt about sexual harassment, claimed McCreary had told a PGA member in a phone call about a candidate for a position in the PGA East struggles to be able to do a good job, she has a family.

Two former employees of the Revelations Division said McCreary was publicly taunting women who had to give up their work prematurely because of family responsibilities and school functions, and McCreary also said that some employees could not handle heavy workloads because they were among them One of the sources was that families "had to walk home" and therefore could not stay at work for long, she openly advocated for work-life balance, the source said, but she made "derogatory" remarks to those who left early

A PGA spokesperson said in a statement: "The Producers Guild of America is an Equal Opportunity Employer who does not question or consider marital status or parental status in its hiring practice as soon as we inform CNN of the allegation We examined the matter and found that it has no value. Lori McCreary is an outstanding PGA president from her work with The Guild, she has been a consistent, vocal and proactive advocate for women and all who are underrepresented in our community.

A McCreary spokesman did not respond to repeated follow-up questions regarding the allegations against McCreary.

On set

One of the former male Revelations staff members told CNN what he thought of the "shocking" remarks Freeman made when he was on set for a series of Freeman films, and what he says he was witnessing follows the pattern described by the women who said they were molested by Freeman. 19659050] Morgan Freeman won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for “Million Dollar Baby.”” data-src-mini=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180523162559-morgan-freeman-million-dollar-baby-small-169.jpg” data-src-xsmall=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180523162559-morgan-freeman-million-dollar-baby-medium-plus-169.jpg” data-src-small=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180523162559-morgan-freeman-million-dollar-baby-large-169.jpg” data-src-medium=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180523162559-morgan-freeman-million-dollar-baby-exlarge-169.jpg” data-src-large=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180523162559-morgan-freeman-million-dollar-baby-super-169.jpg” data-src-full16x9=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180523162559-morgan-freeman-million-dollar-baby-full-169.jpg” data-src-mini1x1=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180523162559-morgan-freeman-million-dollar-baby-small-11.jpg” data-demand-load=”not-loaded” data-eq-pts=”mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781″ src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP///////wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI+py+0Po5yUFQA7″/>

"[He’d say] Things like & # 39; I would like to spend an hour with her or make vulgar and sexual comments about women, "the former employee said." He would be verbally inappropriate and it was just shocking. You're more shocked than anything else, because it's hard to have the small change to tell him that's inappropriate. "You're just like, whoa & # 39; it's hard because he's on every set It's weird because you do not expect Morgan Freeman, someone you respect. "

The production assistant (PA) mentioned at the beginning of this story, who worked on" Going In Style, "said she in the early 20s, when Freeman, then 78, harassed her. She said the experience led to her decision to leave the film industry.

"There were constant comments about the way I looked," she said, adding that Freeman made the comments within earshot of others on the production staff. She said she often came home from work in tears.

The woman recalled a time when she went to the set and wore a dress with a T-shirt over it to cover her unprotected back, but "Morgan told me not to wear the shirt over my dress . "

Another female production assistant, who witnessed this particular alleged incident, told CNN that Freeman's behavior towards the younger female production workers during filming was an uncontrolled and persistent problem. Both women said the T-shirt incident occurred in front of a group of people and they heard at least one other woman Freeman publicly punished for this particular comment. The behavior was discussed among the women he targeted, the production assistant said.

A third woman working on a recent Freeman film recalled an incident at the film wrap party. "He looked at my breasts and I said to him," My eyes are up here. "Then we took a group photo and he pushed against me, it was inappropriate."

CNN talked to a colleague of the woman about the film, who said that as soon as the photo was taken, the woman came over and told a group from people, what Freeman had done to her.

Another production assistant who worked with Freeman on "The Dark Knight" told CNN that although she was never personally targeted by Freeman, she saw some inappropriate comments from Freeman on female crew members. She also said that female members of the crew sometimes discussed how Freeman felt uncomfortable with them.

"Morgan has done things that allow an older, more established person to get away with having that power," she told CNN. "They can not be replaced, but they can be replaced very easily, it's just a kind of dynamic on the set, PAs can be replaced, handles can be replaced, electricians can be replaced, but the actors – once they're in you're in there If there had been someone else in the crew … I would be happy to report it because I do not feel that my job would be in danger if I report it, but if you inform someone like Morgan Freeman about it would lose a lot of money by replacing them or putting them in trouble, then you are the troublemaker and you will be fired because you are just a PA. "

With reporters

[19659002] Freeman's alleged fixation on the The way women dressed was evident when he took to the streets to promote his films, as well as his supposed pattern of looking women up and down and giving them sexually suggestive comments are to give.

As an entertainment producer on WGN-TV in Chicago, Tyra Martin spent hours interviewing Freeman on various press junkets. Over the course of a decade, she said, she sat down with him at least nine times and got used to his comments about her appearance. But Martin made it clear in an interview with CNN that she was always "on the joke". WGN produced videos with some of Freeman's comments on Martin, describing it as if he was flirting with her. But Martin sensed that an incident had crossed a line.

"When I got up, I pulled my skirt off my dress and he said," Oh, do not pull down now. "Martin said," That made me pause, but I never felt uncomfortable. "

It is unclear whether a video exists on this incident.

An entertainment journalist who is a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association said, Freeman had commented on her skirt and legs during two different pleasures, much like many of the women in the report and those who refused to hit the record, the reporter said that Freeman's fame and power belonged to her from speaking out.

"I was just trying to do my job, and I fended it off. said the reporter, who did not want to be identified for this story because she is afraid of losing interviews with other celebrities.

"You do not want to put him on the spot because one, he's famous and two, it's in front of the camera and three, you just want to do your job."

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