Two companies have cut ties with Morgan Freeman after the recent sexual harassment allegations
On May 24th, eight women came forward with sexual harassment allegations against actor Morgan Freeman. These are the latest sexual misconduct accusations in the post-#MeToo era, and already, businesses are terminating their advertising agreements with Freeman. As of this morning, May 25th, both Visa and TransLink, Toronto’s public transit system, have dropped the actor from their marketing campaigns. And we’re glad to hear it.
Visa, whose ads have featured Freeman’s voice for years, announced that it would suspend campaigns involving the the actor. “We are aware of the allegations that have been made against Mr. Freeman,” Visa said in a statement to several news outlets. “At this point, Visa will be suspending our marketing in which the actor is featured.”
TransLink announced in a statement that voice announcements recorded by Freeman as part of a Visa ad campaign will no longer air in the transit system’s stations and trains. However, the company said that it will not be ending its marketing partnership with Visa in general.
Freeman is facing backlash from other organizations as well. CNN reported on May 24th that the Screen Actors’ Guild is debating whether to revoke the actor’s recently received lifetime achievement award.
"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," a SAG-AFTRA spokesperson told CNN in a statement. "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 issued an apology yesterday, May 24th, telling Variety:
"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 apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent."
We commend Visa and TransLink for taking a stand against sexual harassment, and we stand with Freeman’s accusers during this difficult time. This story is still developing, and we will update you as more information becomes available.