Morgan Freeman apologizes, denies accusations

Actor Morgan Freeman said on Friday any suggestion he assaulted women or created an unsafe workplace is false, and apologized to anyone he may have upset after media reported that women have accused him of inappropriate behavior or harassment.


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Morgan Freeman Issues A Second Statement: ‘I Did Not Assault These Women’

Morgan Freeman

Source: Getty Images / Morgan Freeman

Soon after CNN broke the news that eight women accused Morgan Freeman of sexual harassment, the Oscar-winning actor issued a second statement stressing that he is innocent.

“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,” Freeman writes.

“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.”

However, he claims that all he did was make jokes and had no intention to make anyone uncomfortable.

“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.”

 

As we previously reportedCNN released an exclusive report in which they spoke with 16 people, eight of which say they experienced harassment at the hands of the 80-year-old actor.

One source who worked as a production assistant on the 2015 film, “Going In Style”  told the outlet that she experienced months of harassment. In several instances she alleged that Freeman frequently rubbed her back and tried on several occasions to lift up her skirt, inquiring whether or not she had on underwear.

“He never successfully lifted her skirt, she said — he would touch it and try to lift it, she would move away, and then he’d try again,” CNN reports.

However, one woman has come forward to say that CNN mischaracterized her statement and that she does not want to be included among any accusers.

Essence.com reports:

Chicago WGN-TV’s Tyra Martin is saying that she has issues with the way her comments were presented in CNN‘s report.

“Hey, still getting a lot of nasty messages from people who think I AM one of the accusers,” she told TMZ. “I’m not, never was. CNN totally misrepresented the video and took my remarks out of context.”

According to CNN’s report, eight women said Freeman created an uncomfortable work environment with frequent sexual comments and unwanted touching.

Martin, who had interviewed Freeman multiple times, described the actor as casually inappropriate with her — enough for her to become accustomed to his bawdy comments. In one specific interaction,  Freeman commented inappropriately about her skirt.

“When I stood up, I pulled my skirt part of my dress down and he did say, ‘Oh, don’t pull it down now,’“ Martin recalled.

Martin doesn’t change her testimony, but she does take issue with being named as one of his accusers. Instead, she saw many of his comments, though inappropriate, to be said in jest.

“That wasn’t my experience of Morgan Freeman,” she clarified her comments on Friday during WGN-TVs morning show. “The experiences were always fun for me.”

Freeman issued an initial statement apologizing on Thursday (May 24) when news hit of the damning 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 has already been pulled from his ubiquitous Visa ads.

 

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Entertainment – Black America Web

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‘My Life Is at Risk of Being Undermined.’ Morgan Freeman Pushes Back Against Misconduct Allegations

Actor Morgan Freeman is maintaining that his behavior should not be classified as sexual assault, in the wake of harassment and misconduct allegations leveled against him earlier this week.

“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,” Freeman said in a statement provided to TIME late Friday night. “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.”

A CNN report published Thursday included accounts from eight people who accused Freeman of inappropriate behavior or harassment. Many of these alleged instances included what were perceived as inappropriate comments from Freeman. One woman claimed he once repeatedly tried to lift her skirt and asked if she was wearing underwear; another said the actor made so many comments about her appearance that she and her assistants stopped wearing fitted clothing around him. CNN reporter Chloe Melas also said the actor called her “ripe” when she interviewed him while six months pregnant.

Freeman, who issued an apology shortly after CNN’s story broke Thursday, said in the second statement that he uses jokes and humor to make people “feel appreciated and at ease around me,” though he added that, “Clearly I was not always coming across the way I intended.”

Still, Freeman maintains in the statement that his behavior never crossed certain lines.

“I did not create unsafe work environments. I did not assault women. I did not offer employment or advancement in exchange for sex,” Freeman said in the statement. “Any suggestion that I did so is completely false.”


Entertainment – TIME

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Actor Morgan Freeman apologizes after accusations

(Reuters) – Actor Morgan Freeman said on Friday any suggestion he assaulted women or created an unsafe workplace is false and apologized to anyone he may have upset after media reported that women have accused him of inappropriate behavior or harassment.
Reuters: People News

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Morgan Freeman Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Actor Morgan Freeman has been accused of inappropriate behavior and harassment by several women, CNN reports. In an investigation made by the news source, 16 individuals were interviewed and many have revealed that they were either victims or witnesses of these inappropriate acts.

The report also claims that the actions took place while Freeman was promoting his movies, on various film sets, and at Revelations Entertainment, his production company. Allegations of unwanted touching and inappropriate comments were made by one production assistant. The individual divulged that the Going in Style actor made attempts of “lifting up” her skirt while asking if she was wearing underwear. She said Freeman also kept commenting on her figure daily.

Another incident in the report tells of Freeman behaving inappropriately at a film wrap party. A third woman describes, “He was looking at my breasts, and I told him, ‘My eyes are up here.’ Then we went to take a group photo and he pressed himself up against me. It was inappropriate.”

Some reporters have also stepped forward about the advances made by Freeman. Entertainment producer Tyra Martin who had interviewed Freeman several times before and said she was used to his flirtatious antics revealed that he did eventually cross the line. She said on a meeting with Freeman, “When I stood up, I pulled my skirt part of my dress down and he did say, ‘Oh, don’t pull it down now.” Martin continued, “That gave me pause but I never felt uncomfortable.”

The full story can be read on CNN.

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SAG Awards Honors Morgan Freeman, Sterling K. Brown; Previews Oscars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Western-inspired revenge tale “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” swept the female-focused and led Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday with wins for best ensemble, best actress for Frances McDormand and best supporting actor for Sam Rockwell.

It was almost an exact repeat of the major Golden Globe Awards wins with Gary Oldman also winning best actor for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour” and Allison Janney taking supporting actress for playing Tonya Harding’s mother in “I, Tonya.”

As with many of the awards shows this season, it was the treatment of women in Hollywood that stayed at the forefront of the show, which featured a roster of nearly all female presenters and Kristen Bell as its inaugural host.

“We are living in a watershed moment,” Bell said in her opening monologue, which stayed light and mostly clear of politics. “Let’s make sure that we’re leading the charge with empathy and diligence.”

With many prominent men in Hollywood facing accusations of sexual misconduct, virtually every aspect of awards season has been impacted by the scandal — from questions on the red carpet to anxiety over who might win.

Both James Franco and Aziz Ansari two weeks ago won Golden Globe Awards while wearing Time’s Up pins before being accused of sexual misconduct and in Ansari’s case, aggressive sexual behavior by an anonymous accuser. Both were nominated Sunday and lost, Franco to Oldman and Ansari to William H. Macy for “Shameless.”

Rockwell, who beat out his co-star Woody Harrelson for the award, took his moment on stage to give a shout out to McDormand.

 

“Frances, you’re a powerhouse,” Rockwell said. “I stand shoulder to shoulder with you and all the incredible women in this room who are trying to make things better. It’s long overdue.”

Most of the comments in the evening were forward-looking. SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said, “This is not a moment in time. This is a movement.”

Big television winners included NBC’s “This Is Us,” which took the ensemble award for drama and won Sterling K. Brown the outstanding actor award, and HBO’s “Veep,” which got outstanding comedy ensemble and a best actress win for Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

 

 

HBO’s “Big Little Lies” picked up best actor in a miniseries wins for both Alexander Skarsgard and Nicole Kidman.

“I’m so grateful today that our careers can go beyond 40 years old,” Kidman said in her acceptance speech. “We are potent and powerful and viable. I just beg that the industry stays behind us because our stories are finally being told.”

“The Crown’s” Claire Foy won best female actor in a drama series for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II.

Lifetime achievement award recipient Morgan Freeman kept his remarks brief after a moving highlight reel of his expansive career and an introduction by Rita Moreno. The Oscar-winner for “Million Dollar Baby” and four-time nominee has over 80 films to his name.

“I’m gonna tell you what’s wrong with this statue,” he said as he wrapped up. “From the back it works, from the front it’s gender specific. Maybe I started something.”

The day’s first awards went to “Game of Thrones” and “Wonder Woman,” which were honored for best stunt ensemble honors.

Producers say the female-forward approach was inspired by last year’s Women’s March, but the show arrived at a time when some of the industry’s biggest names are leading the Time’s Up and Me Too movements to address gender inequality, sexual misconduct, pay disparities and other issues.

The show comes two weeks after a black-dress protest at the Golden Globe Awards, and several stars including Meryl Streep, Emma Stone and Michelle Williams bringing activists to the show. The SAG red carpet saw the return of colorful frocks and far fewer Time’s Up pins — although some actors, like Kumail Nanjiani and Gina Rodriguez, were still sporting theirs.

E! host Giuliana Rancic asked “GLOW” actress Alison Brie about recent allegations of misconduct against her brother-in-law James Franco (Brie is married to actor Dave Franco.)

“I think that above all what we’ve always said is it remains vital that anyone who remains victimized should have the right to speak out and come forward,” Brie said, adding that in the case of Franco, “Not everything that has come forward is fully accurate.”

Franco has also called some of the accusations inaccurate, but after two days of facing questions about the claims on late-night television, “The Disaster Artist” star has kept a lower profile, although he was in attendance at the SAG Awards. He did not attend last week’s Critics’ Choice Awards.

The Globes were the first major awards show forced to confront the sexual misconduct scandal since it exploded in October with dozens of women accusing Harvey Weinstein of harassment and in some instances, rape. (Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.)

Weinstein accusers Marisa Tomei and Rosanna Arquette used some of their time presenting an award Sunday to name some of the “silence breakers” in the movement including Asia Argento, Annabella Sciorra, Ashley Judd, Daryl Hannah, Mira Sorvino, Anthony Rapp and Olivia Munn.

“So many powerful voices are no longer silenced by the fear of retaliation,” Arquette said. “We can control our own destiny.”

The SAG Awards are a reliable predictor of the winner for the best actor and actress Academy Awards; this year’s show comes two days before Oscar nominations are announced.

While “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” now has the Golden Globe and SAG win to its name, it lost out to Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy romance “The Shape of Water” at the Producers Guild Awards Saturday night, which is often the most accurate gage of what will ultimately win best picture at the Academy Awards on March 4.

___

AP Entertainment Reporters Sandy Cohen, Amanda Lee Myers and Mike Cidoni Lennox contributed from Los Angeles.

 

PHOTO: AP

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Morgan Freeman And Jimmy Fallon Talking On Helium Will Make Your Day

Earlier this year, Morgan Freeman almost blew up the Internet with a video of himself talking after sucking down some helium, and now he’s back to finish the job.

During “The Tonight Show” on Thursday, host Jimmy Fallon and Freeman went through the second half of their interview while inhaling helium from balloons, and the results are everything you dreamed they would be.

All that’s left to say is, “So long, Internet. You will be missed.”

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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‘Sherlock’ Review: ‘The Empty Hearse’ Finds An Emotional Reunion For Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman In Long-Awaited Return

The most highly-awaited show of the year returned, and within one sharp, mind-boggling minute in the company of Sherlock and Co, it was all explained away… apparently.

We had a far-fetched (but possible!) combination of bungee rope, a Sherlock mask over a Moriarty body, a big grateful kiss for enamoured lab assistant Molly… oh, and Derren Brown???? Hang on a minute!

Ah, that’ll be one big nod to the conspiracy theorists everywhere, then. No one listens to their fans like writers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, and plays with them a little in return. According to Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock on the roof, there are 13 possible outcomes in total. So looks like we might have to wait for the truth for a bit longer after all…

sherlock

Sherlock’s return was greeted with a welcome less warm than he would have perhaps liked

Cut to… Gatiss as weary Mycroft having to tap some numbers into his international speed-dial, brush up his Serbian, engage in some tiresome ‘field work’ to locate his errant little brother, and return him to his Baker Street fold.

And that, expectant viewers, was very much that. Two years’ worth of all our wondering, tucked into a drawer for the time being. Onward…

sherlock

Mary (Amanda Abbington) had (almost) replaced Sherlock in Doctor Watson’s affections, but proved crucial to the restoration of their bromance

Into the up-to-date world of Dr Watson (Martin Freeman), complete with fiancee Mary (Freeman’s real-life partner Amanda Abbington) and moustache, moving on with his life, much to the surprise of Mrs Hudson (Una Stubbs) – “So soon after Sherlock?” she asked guilelessly.

But this was a light appetiser for the serious business of his reunion with the much-missed Holmes who, despite his big brain, managed to misjudge such concepts as how grief can turn to resentment when it turns out to be misplaced for two sad, lonely years. Sherlock got a much warmer reception even from DI Lestrade (Rupert Graves), and that was even after Holmes got his name wrong.

sherlock

Benedict Cumberbatch was on fine form as the loner detective

Fortunately for fans, it wasn’t too long before Holmes and Watson were reconciled to combat an underground terrorism network operating on the underground network. From then on, it was all torches in dark tunnels, upturned collars and lots and lots of nifty editing as Holmes homed in on quite a bit of a bomb, and Watson continued to prove his peerless Everyman acting stripes, equal parts confusion, good intention, and deep indignation when said bomb turned out to have an off-switch. That Sherlock fella, eh? Such a wag.

Because of all of Watson’s understandable, brooding resentment for much of the 90 minutes, a lot of the real pleasure in this episode in fact came from the jollier exchanges between the Holmes brothers, with both siblings proving that absence makes the heart grow more competitive… who can deduce more accurately? Who can say more more words in one minute? Who can enunciate more c-c-r-r-i-sply? Wonderful stuff from both Cumberbatch and Gatiss.

A challenge to keep up with, a joy to watch – there’s a reason this kind of telly takes two years to make. But oh, how we’ve missed it, and oh, how it was worth the wait.

How DID he do it? Let us know your thoughts below, and what you thought of Sherlock’s big return…

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