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Morgan Freeman controversy: You either die a hero or live long enough to become a villain

Twitterati went into an overdrive on Thursday, expressing their shock and disgust over Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman, who has been accused of sexual harassment by eight women.

hollywood Updated: May 25, 2018 12:46 IST
Morgan Freeman,Sexual harassment,#MeToo
Actor Morgan Freeman has been accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour by eight women.(Photo: Reuters)

Morgan Freeman has been a social media trend several times, mostly over false rumours about his death, but on Thursday, he managed to shock everyone, after CNN reported that eight women had accused the Oscar-winning actor of inappropriate behaviour and sexual harassment. Social networks reverberated with shock, disgust, disbelief, and everything in between.

“Morgan Freeman though. The man with the perfect voice. IS NOTHING SACRED!?” wrote one Twitter user, Lizzie Cernik.

The CNN report includes one woman who says that the actor repeatedly tried to lift up her skirt, and asked if she was wearing underwear. Several women also say that he made frequent comments about their bodies. “Good morning. Morgan Freeman was accused of sexual harassment. We need a new God,” wrote one user, Jackie, who was not the only Twitter user devastated by the news.

The actor has been a part of Hollywood classics such as The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Seven (1995), Amistad (1997), Million Dollar Baby (2004, the film that got him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar), and Invictus (2009), and he has also acted in several Batman films as the tech genius Lucius Fox. While he played God in Bruce Almighty (2003), to many of his fans, Freeman is God — of Hollywood cinema. No wonder, fans are heartbroken; some have even tried to defend the veteran actor, and said that he was accused because of his race.

“Y’All be tripping over Morgan Freeman. They only accusing him because he is a black American MAN!!” (sic) wrote Jonathan Brown.

“This is no deliberate attempt to disrespect the female folks but I don’t believe this Morgan Freeman story unless they have proof, these accusations after several years need to stop. It’s becoming ridiculous,” wrote another user Wale Adetona.

Meanwhile, brands and shows that were associated with Morgan Freeman were quick to distance themselves from the actor. VISA announced that it was pulling all advertisements featuring Freeman. “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,” the company said in a statement.

AND, MEANWHILE...

Harvey Weinstein expected to surrender, to be charged with rape: Report

Disgraced Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein is expected to surrender to the police in New York today on charges of raping a woman, US law enforcement officials said.

Weinstein, 66, has agreed after a months-long probe to surrender himself at a police precinct in Manhattan and will be arrested on a criminal complaint, the New York Times reported. He is then expected to be taken to Manhattan Criminal Court to be arraigned on the charges. As part of a bail package negotiated in advance, Weinstein will put up $1 million (Rs 6.5 crore approximately) in cash and agree to wearing a monitoring device. His travel will be restricted and he will have to surrender his passport, the report said.

Weinstein will be charged with first-degree rape and third-degree rape in one case, besides a first-degree criminal sex act in another where he forced a woman to perform oral sex on him, the report quoted law enforcement officials as saying. His arrest and charges follow innumerable accusations levelled against him by several women from the Hollywood movie industry. As women opened up about Weinstein’s history of sexually abusing and assaulting them, other women from across the world come forward with their own accounts of being sexually harassed and assaulted by powerful men, accelerating the global #MeToo movement. PTI

First Published: May 25, 2018 12:44 IST