Morgan Freeman: Screen Actors Guild may rescind actor's lifetime achievement award amid sex harassment allegations

Morgan Freeman: Screen Actors Guild may rescind actor's lifetime achievement award amid sex harassment allegations

AMERICA'S largest labor union for actors is considering whether to rescind a lifetime achievement award it gave to Morgan Freeman, amid sexual harassment allegations made against the actor.

Freeman, 80, released a public apology on Thursday after he was accused of the misconduct by eight women and several other people.

He said he was sorry to "anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected".

Now the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), which handed Freeman a lifetime achievement award in January, is reconsidering the prize amid the allegations.

In a statement, a SAG-AFTRA spokesperson said: "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.

"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 honours recognising his body of work, we are therefore reviewing what corrective actions may be warranted at this time."

'Pattern of behaviour'

Freeman, who has starred in iconic films such as The Shawshank Redemption, The Dark Knight and Amistad, is the latest well-known Hollywood figure to be accused of sexual misconduct.

Harvey Weinstein, the producer whose alleged misconduct sparked the #MeToo movement last year, is expected to hand himself in to police in New York today amid numerous allegations of rape and sexual assault against him.

The allegations against Freeman surfaced on Thursday after 16 people spoke to CNN about the actor's "pattern of behaviour", including a production assistant on 2017's Going In Style who alleged he repeatedly attempted to lift her skirt.

CNN said they had spoken to three entertainment reporters who claimed Freeman made inappropriate remarks to them during interviews, including then-pregnant CNN reporter Chloe Melas.

Ms Melas alleges that Freeman looked her up and down and said "I wish I was there" and "You are ripe" less than a year ago.

Freeman co-founded Revelations Entertainment in 1996 with Lori McCreary - the current president of the Producers Guild Association who has championed the #MeToo movement in the past.