After allegations surfaced days ago that Morgan Freeman allegedly harassed female journalists and staffers at his production company, the actor continues to defend himself while also apologizing — and he’s now released a second statement addressing the reports against him.
In the second statement, Freeman further addressed allegations from more than half a dozen women, and at the very least, made it seem as though he was starting to take the reports more seriously than he previously had shown.
Here’s Morgan Freeman’s full (second) statement (below):
“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.”
Well OK then.
Meanwhile, Visa is suspending its marketing campaign with Freeman, as well.
The company announced in a statement this week via a spokesperson that they won’t be continuing its current ad campaign with Freeman for the foreseeable future (below):
“We are aware of the allegations that have been made against Mr. Freeman. At this point, Visa will be suspending our marketing in which the actor is featured.”
And the city of Vancouver, Canada’s public transit system TransLink also announced on Thursday that it was pausing its current ad campaign with Freeman’s voice promoting mobile payments on the transit system.
A spokesperson for the Vancouver transit system said (below):
“In light of information we learned Thursday morning of allegations regarding actor Morgan Freeman, TransLink has decided to pause his voice announcements as part of a Visa ad campaign on our transit system. We will be reaching out to Visa to discuss further.”
We’ll see for how much longer the fallout continues…
[Image via Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.]