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Freeman in denial

Freeman in denial
Even as the #MeToo movement has taken a toll of sex predators, an unlikely name has come up in the shocking form of the iconic Morgan Freeman. The octogenarian has already issued a detailed apology after eight people accused him of sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour, and the actor said his actions should not be equated with incidents of sexual assault or abuse in the workplace. In his statement, Freeman said "I am devastated that 80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye. 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 humour. 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 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 apologise and will continue to apologise 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." Eight people said they were victims of what some called harassment and others called inappropriate behavior by Freeman. Three entertainment reporters have said Freeman made inappropriate remarks to them during press junkets. Freeman also issued a statement after the allegations first surfaced, saying he is "not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologise to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected. That was never my intent." Entertainment Tonight released footage from a 2016 interview for Freeman's movie 'London Has Fallen', in which the actor is seen asking reporter Ashley Crossan if she is married and if she's ever "fooled around with older guys." Reports about Freeman's alleged behaviour prompted credit card company Visa to suspend its marketing campaign that featured Freeman. The Screen Actors Guild also said it is in the process to determine what, if any, action will be necessary regarding Freeman, who received its lifetime achievement award in January. But, interestingly, whatever Freeman,"the grandpa of US", said is all on camera. Movements punctuated by hashtags such as #MeToo were given life after accusations surfaced against former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. But it remains debatable if it would be just to put Weinstein and Freeman in the same boat and branded similarly.

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