The Screen Actors Guild has said that it is ‘reviewing’ a lifetime achievement award it gave Morgan Freeman, following multiple allegations of sexual harassment aimed at the veteran actor.
Eight women have come forward to describe incidents of alleged inappropriate behaviour involving the 80-year-old star.
One production assistant who worked with Freeman on comedy movie Going In Style said that he repeatedly touched her without her permission, and repeatedly tried to lift up her skirt.
Others have said that Freeman had a reputation for inappropriate remarks and behaviour around women.
“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,” said a spokesperson for SAG-AFTRA (via The Hollywood Reporter).
“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.
“Given Mr. Freeman recently received one of our union’s most prestigious honors recognizing his body of work, we are therefore reviewing what corrective actions may be warranted at this time.”
Freeman was given the lifetime achievement award in January this year, and was praised after he accepted the award for referring to how the statue he received appeared to be ‘gender specific’ in favour of men during his speech, and how that should change.
— SAG Awards® (@SAGawards) January 22, 2018
He has since issued an apology following the allegations, saying: “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 apologise to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected – that was never my intent.”
Since the allegations, a number of female entertainment reporters have come forward to say that he also made them feel uncomfortable with remarks he made while being interviewed.