My Response to the Morgan Freeman Accusations

A few days ago several young women publicly accused Morgan Freeman of sexually harassing them, at least one of them during the making of Going in Style back in 2015. The new allegation came almost immediately in the aftermath of Harvey Weinstein surrendering himself to answer rape charges in New York earlier this week.

As usual, Freeman has blatantly denied the accusations, frustrated that his many decades of groundbreaking work in entertainment are in danger of being undone. Sadly, the effects of the allegations are already hurting him. Visa Canada announced days ago that it was suspending any of its advertising featuring Freeman, and TransLink has decided to cancel his voicing of the public service ad campaign he was set to do for Vancouver-area public transportation.

All of this is the result of brand new allegations.

Sexual assault, sexual harassment—hell, assault and harassment of any kind, really—is absolutely disgusting and should always be taken seriously. I applaud authorities and the businesses in Canada for treating the allegations as serious business and not brushing them aside or trying to downplay them. I have no issue with that at all. I think it sends a bad message whenever a potential victim is silenced or ignored, especially when a high-profile celebrity is concerned.

In a way, I can even understand why Visa and TransLink decided to “pause” their relationship with Freeman. Undoubtedly a great many women use public transportation in one of Canada’s biggest cities, and silencing his voice would send a message of support to victims of similar crimes. It’s a great show of public service.

Overall, though, I disagree with how it has been handled. So far these are only fresh allegations. There has been no action by lawyers or police or any investigation of any kind, save a few news interviews. All that there is so far are people coming out in public and saying that Morgan Freeman did this or that to them. I think it is way too early for businesses and organizations dropping Freeman. What kind of message does that send? That a mere allegation of wrongdoing can destroy or greatly damage a person’s career, even if in the end the allegation is retracted or the person is found innocent of any wrongdoing.

I’m aware that Canada is not the United States, but one of the things we (at least in the past) have prided ourselves on is our justice system and the belief that a person is INNOCENT until PROVEN guilty. Visa and TransLink, even if their intentions were only temporary ones, have already handed Freeman a guilty verdict and there is nothing fair about that. If the same kind of response was taken after police come out and say that a criminal investigation is underway or that charges have been filed, that is something different entirely. But so far that’s not the case, and I feel bad that he has lost out on this potentially great voice-over deal on account of these accusations.

I am anxious to see where this new chapter of the #MeToo movement goes, and if any of these allegations end up being true or not. Only time will tell.

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53 thoughts on “My Response to the Morgan Freeman Accusations”

  1. If a citizen points a person out to a police officer and says that’s the man who robbed me, the man is arrested and held without the citizen having to show proof at that time. And as you pointed out in a previous blog, an employer has the right to say she doesn’t want someone accused of such conduct to remain on her staff. If public nudity is a crime because such behavior may be experienced as threatening, how much more of a crime is inappropriate and degrading sexual misconduct, especially in the workplace?

    When 1 out of 6 US woman have reported being the victim of an attempted or completed rape (in some USA states it’s 30% or more) and roughly half say they’ve been at the receiving end of sexual misconduct, then I’m glad more and more women are speaking up about it. The term sexual misconduct doesn’t begin to describe the level of anxiety and fear such behavior may instill, often forever.

    Morgan Freeman’s behavior is now revealed as being sexually aggressive and certainly anxiety-provoking. When it becomes a crime, hopefully I’ll be able to say to a police officer that someone has committed an act of sexual aggression against me and know the officer is obliged to place that person under arrest.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Not exactly correct. Police might detain someone briefly if someone identifies them as a robber or whatever, but they will investigate. They can’t just arrest someone over an accusation. And that right there is my point. An accusation alone is just words. There has to be evidence before it can move forward from accusation to the next level. TransLink and Visa acted too fast in my opinion.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Sorry, John, but your statement is totally incorrect. The police most certainly can arrest someone over an accusation. They don’t just detain him. If you say that’s the guy who ran past me and grabbed my purse,” the police may say to him: “You’re under arrest.” They may then hold detain him locally behind bars until they determine probable cause – overnight or longer – and you wish to prefer charges. If probable cause is determined, they may be sent to jail, where they may be freed on bail until a trial can take place. If someone on the street says to me “I’d like to grab your breasts and put my prick in your pussy,” that should be as much of a crime as someone grabbing my breasts in the street though perhaps with a different sentence, and the police should be required to place that person under arrest, as opposed to just delivering a warning on the street without arrest.

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  2. “What kind of message does that send? That a mere allegation of wrongdoing can destroy or greatly damage a person’s career, even if in the end the allegation is retracted or the person is found innocent of any wrongdoing.”
    ~ This is, indeed, a serious development.

    Thanks for the follow 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. For the sake of both the purported victim and the accused, an investigation should be held to determine probable guilt. If no evidence of guilt is found the accused should be publically exonerated. I agree, Visa and TransLink acted prematurely. I believe in “innocent until proven guilty.”
    Thanks for the follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree. While I respect those women who come forward and finally speak up, I still think some of what has happened with the movement may actually be just hysterics, like the Salem witch trial. It is such a fine line we walk these days…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny you mention the Salem Witch Trials because I fear that might actually be what happens. History likes repetition. First the Witch Trials, then the Red Scare, now the sex offender scare. I’m sure a vast many of these accusations and claims are true, but inevitably an innocent man (or woman) is going to be falsely accused and have their careers be in shambles because of false accusations.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. First off, thanks for visiting and following my blog. 🙂

    I enjoyed the above article about something that’s become quite the issue in our day. (One might mention that the Press loves these accusations flung against important people.) While sexual assault is wrong, I’ve become pretty skeptical about the motive behind all these accusations coming forth.

    Some years back a teacher in Saskatoon who was accused by two girls of sexual harassment or assault. He was immediately detained —and lost his job. Front page news about the investigation. His name was mud; his career was ruined. Investigation later revealed that he’d caught one guy and gal making out in the hallway at school and threatened to tell their parents if they carried on like this. The guy got the girl and her best friend to bring these accusations against the teacher. A week or so after his career nose-dived a tiny box new item appeared on Page 28 that he was innocent of the charge brought against him. No School Board has been willing to hire him, though.

    And then there was the Martensville story about thirty years back where the lives lives of several adults, a foster-parent couple and the grandfather, were ruined. One person went to jail on the say-so of three foster kids. About ten years later when the girls were older teens, they admitted that their brother had made them lie to protect him.

    You mention the Salem Witch Trials — it could be more like “jumping on the bandwagon.” Getting your moment in the limelight by accusing someone famous. I agree with your initial statement: all sexual harassment is wrong real offenders should be brought to justice. But I don’t accept at face value every accusation—especially when these incidents supposedly go back twenty years so can’t be proven true or false.

    It’s safe to to accuse when no one who can really prove it. Offenders use this logic, too, but I still believe anyone should be given the benefit of the doubt and deemed innocent until proven guilty. some people are ready to accuse anyone who holds a different belief than they do. Some may even want to accuse the guy they tried to get cosy with if he didn’t respond favorably. Maybe men should fight fire with fire. Some guys get remarks and unwanted touches from females, too.

    Trouble is, the term sexual harassment is open to interpretation. On the extreme side, one Ontario teen sued her University teacher for sexual harassment because he said, “Good girl” when she correctly answered his question.

    For another thing, it can simply be a way of ruining a person’s life or career — and some people, for whatever motives, are not above doing that. Be the target male or female, the accusation sexual or not. It’s an ancient trick— and the Press may well have a finger in the pie. One famous politician in England circa 1920 was accused of a “lewd act in a public place” and the scandal very nearly scuttled his career. The mud definitely left its stain. Turns out an ambitious reporter paid a prostitute to accost the man in a park, and whatever “act” took place, the reporter published the incident as front page news.

    This Me-too thing will eventually wear itself out and be replaced by some new movement, but in the meantime I hate to see people’s lives being ruined by unfounded accusations, so easy to make, so hard to prove.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Personally, I’m sick of all these women out there crawling out of the woodwork and piling on to these various celebrities/whoever that are accused of these sexual acts. Why wait years–even decades in some cases–to jump on the band wagon? Not saying it didn’t happen, but a woman accuses a guy of something like this, even though it may (or may not) have happened a long time ago, and HE IS GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT! Does anyone remember that according to our judicial system, it’s supposed to be INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY? Here we go again, yet another double-standard from this sickening Politically Correct society.

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  7. As someone who has worked in the Talent Industry for 15+ years.. and have booked talent on his projects, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this. Now..I continue with that statement noting that NO ONE has ever said he has raped them or any such thing like that – they have however said he’s groped, touched and spoken many inappropriate things over the years. And yes, they have been reported to various people who all chose to overlook things because he was the star of the project. So while E. Michael above notes how he’s sick of hearing it..that people can accuse years later..sometimes guys just don’t get it, this kind of shit sticks with you your whole life and you think you are alone in it, or someone has told you to not bring it up or talk about it, and then you hear someone who went thru the same thing actually say it..and you realize, you are not alone. It’s not a fucking bandwagon.. And yes, I’m going to say this out loud here and now as I already have a few times before but…Stallone & Schwartznegger.. I’m waiting to hear when their shit hits the fan.

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    1. I appreciate your insight and first hand confirmation. Rape or not, that behavior is disgusting and needs to be addressed. I just personally believe that action shouldn’t have been taken SOLELY on the basis of individual accusations. Maybe it’s just me still angry at getting in trouble for some of my brother’s lies when we were little

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks.. I had a brother who did the same thing..still did it for years as an adult – he is not part of my life anymore and never will be. Sometimes blood is not thicker than water. what can I say. We move on. But thank you for addressing what I said also. It is appreciated.

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      2. Just curious, how do you propose the accuser “proves” his or her allegations? Most of this type of behavior occurs in private. I’m not saying that accusations are never made up and I certainly don’t have an answer, but basically you just gave a free pass to any perpetrator when there is no collaborating witnesses.

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  8. Your article on Morgan Freeman’s sexual harassment is a highly opinionated one nevertheless pointing out to truths about justice crime and the legal system. Anand Bose from Kerala

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  9. Thanks for taking up this issue.

    Sexual harassment is unfortunately a very real thing and many women feel they have to put up with or at least not denounce it because of fear of consequences.

    It is a good thing that other women (and men) stand up for those women.

    But presuming someone is guilty because someone says they are is a fundamental injustice and is quite like lynch mob law. I agree with you that more than just an accusation should be the cause. Why are accusers making their accusations without going to the police?

    Recently we had a case in Ireland where a woman at a party attended by players on a rugby team claimed to have been raped by two of them and indecently exposed to be another. I am not going to go into all the details in the case but I can say that I followed the evidence and cross-examination in the media reports. I thought the attitude of at least one player revealed through texts was disgusting. There was no doubt that she had sex, which they said was consensual and she said was not. Only one other witness of the actual scene was another party-goer, a woman, who entered the room to retrieve her coat and said that she saw the other woman on top of a man but she grabbed her coat and left.

    After they were found Not Guilty (and on the evidence I could see no alternative to that verdict), there was an “I Believe Her” FB page and a big rally in Dublin’t main street. But on the evidence, who could believe beyond reasonable doubt EITHER side?

    Patriarchy and sexual harassment will not be overcome by lynch mobs.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you so much John for finding and following my blog. I look forward to reading more of yours! What I am going to say is controversial but it needs to be said.

    Lately, this “Me Too” movement, which began so powerfully, is unfortunately becoming the new Salem Witch Trials. I sympathize with the women who have truly been sexually attacked (and I was one of them years ago.) The only reason I am quite normal is the realization that terrible things in life, happen and we can either cave or become stronger through it. My attacker was brought to justice because I spoke up right away.

    It is what one does after a tragedy which determines how we go on. I became a counselor to encourage and motivate others, because in Scripture I realized I was a child of God’s and He would take care of me and of that despicable, disgusting character who hurt me. Many of the women I counseled covered up their shame under layers of weight, believing “if I don’t look attractive, I won’t get attacked again.” Wrong, it probably wasn’t even about you, it’s about power and control from a sick individual. News flash: You’ll get looked at whether you are 110 lbs. or 385. Why should you self-destruct just because someone else is an idiot??? No one can take away my Joy.

    There are miserable controlling people in this world who prey on women and that’s wrong! However there needs to be a distinction between those who are simply seeking publicity because it will become watered down. I am a strong survivor and change always begins from within.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hello, Canadian resident here and rape survivor I hate to add. Yet I sit here in no judgment of Morgan Freeman and hope with the most strongest statement, the allegations are false. However, as a former business owner I do support the temporary pause in their contract. Not at all to do with any statement that attempts to make to me believe it has anything to do with their supposed support. Happy to say not that naive. I would also like to point out that if Morgan is the man he portrays him to be, he himself would understand the “pause”. However, money is money, and no company is going to openly associate with anyone in these times of #metoo. Better to step back then jump in with two feet, make a mess and attempt to clean it up later, with basically little to moderate success. Many things done, can not be undone and media has a huge hand in that.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sigh, you probably right. It’s nice to dream and hope I guess. Money and power rule, that much is obvious. However as the Canadian in the bunch I must live up to my stereo type: apologize to you and be oh so nice and never say anything bad, unless I absolutely must.

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      2. As long as your language is not hateful, false, or discriminatory I want you to speak your mind on my website. I have no reason to judge other people’s opinions unless they do myself or someone else harm

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes, a mere allegation can stop, “pause” a celebrity’s career. Corporations are in business to make money, not to be fair or just. It’s up to celebrities who intend to make money from commercials and ads to make sure their background is squeaky clean. It has nothing to do with fairness. It’s all about profit. Where government ads are involved, that’s a murky area. Most politicians do not have the backbone to stand by anyone, at any time. Ultimately, everyone is responsible for their own reputation. Everyone must keep a watch on their reputation.

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  13. Thank you for following my blog. On this basis then President Trump should immediately be suspended from his job until he has been thoroughly investigated. Truth is it seems a very elusive quarry, were it not so life would be less complicated, our decisions easier and a lot of businesses would at least struggle. I hope eventually we will get the truth the innocent vindicated and the guilty punished, its called being optimistic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s walking a very slippery slope when you try punishing politicians, especially with how entrenched Washington is. It’s like an organism cut off from the rest of the people, which is what the Founding Father’s did not want. Not giving Congress term limits is probably the biggest mistake that they made.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. About 40 years ago a certain college student from another country took me out on a date. A few days later we went hiking and he tried to take advantage. I said “NO”. He argued: “But I took you to an expensive dinner.” What; like I owed him for that dinner? The argument continued and he stated: “But you are American, all American girls do it.”

    Well, in point of fact all American girls do not do it, I told him. I realized I was lucky as he could have had me out on that trail, but he didn’t. Yes, he made sexual advances toward me, but in the end he backed off. Should I have turned him in? No. He didn’t hurt me and I think he could have if he had wanted to. No harm no foul.

    This kind of thing happens all the time and if nothing came of it I can’t see ruining a person’s life over it. Call the guy a jerk and move on. There is a big difference between making advances or overtures and battery or RAPE. Prosecute him if it is battery and/or rape.

    Thank you for visiting me. Your posts make us think.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Exactly, John. When did it become a crime to voice an opposing view? Ah, well, that is a topic for another discussion, and I think you are just the person to start that discussion. Keep writing – keep making us think.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. I don’t watch T.V. but have heard a lot about the #Me TOO movement..
    Many innocent men have been falsely accused and paid the price.. while others who are guilty as sin walk free on technicality’s.. It is a big crap shoot..
    I have heard of woman who make it their career filing sexual harassment charges at big comapany’s and win large settlements, or it is settled in private.. While others suffer constant harassment, and stay quiet to feed their kids..
    I wouldn’t doubt that Hollywood is full of rich and powerful men who overstep their bounds.. and many would pay hush money to remain that way..
    One thing is for certain.. your sin will always find you out.. when dug up they will bite you in the butt.. I’m done rambling 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Very well thought out and presented! I suspect you are mentioning something a lot of males have recently wondered about regarding the whole #MeToo movement. I don’t doubt there are very solid foundations for these outcries and they cannot, and should not, be ignored. But I also remember when I started working in the business realm after college in the late 70’s what constituted lighthearted ‘fun’ amongst peers could, in many cases, be sexual harassment today. But, most importantly, Mr. Freeman is indeed innocent until proven guilty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe that anyone, man or woman, who has been raped, assaulted, or molested by those in power (including Hollywood celebs) should step forward and let the truth be known. However, as with everything there are people out there who can and will abuse it and try to destroy an innocent person’s life work

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