The power that has been wielded by men for thousands of years, the power of objectification and privilege that provided some of the carte blanche to harass and humiliate the opposite gender without impunity. With the Me Too Movement powering the swell of conviction that has permeated contemporary society, there seems to be another celebrity revealed as a total sleazeball with each passing day.
Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein are only the beginning of what appears to be a parade of shame that will last into the foreseeable future.
Because of the cult of personality, many will flock to defend the accused while ignoring the testimony of the offended, as well as thousands of years of western cultural norms to make their conclusions. Seemingly the only thing that matters for some is the accused played a positive black role model on film and television. Nevermind the type of person the accused really was.
Fiction becomes the truth, and that “truth” is fluid, changing day by day. NBC television conspiracy theories or “oppressed brother” narratives bubble up to the surface of the discourse and are peddled as fact. Meanwhile, the affected women are burdened with the knowledge that society would rather shame them than change itself.
Today we welcome actor Morgan Freeman into that pathetic pantheon.
Morgan Freeman, one of the most celebrated actors in the film industry, has been accused of sexual harassment by several women, according to a report by CNN on Thursday. The accusations ranged from unwanted touching to sexually suggestive comments – on movie sets, in office environments and during meetings with the news media.
Up to eight women have stepped forward to accuse Freeman, one of the most popular actors in Hollywood, of sexual harassment.
A production assistant says she was the victim of Freeman’s advances on the set of “Going in Style” in 2015 while another says he harassed her and a female assistant on the set of “Now You See Me” several times.
“He did comment on our bodies… We knew that if he was coming by … not to wear any top that would show our breasts, not to wear anything that would show our bottoms, meaning not wearing clothes that [were] fitted,” she said.
Morgan Freeman won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for “Million Dollar Baby.” 16 people spoke of Freeman as part of the investigation, eight of whom are alleged victims. Four former employees of his production company describe Freeman’s behavior as having occurred repeatedly over the past 10 years.
Three said he made public comments about women’s clothing or bodies. But each of them said they didn’t report Freeman’s behavior, with most saying it was because they feared for their jobs. Instead, some of the women — both on movie sets and at Revelations — said, they came up with ways to combat the alleged harassment on their own, such as by changing the way they dressed when they knew he would be around.
Additionally, three entertainment reporters alleged Freeman’s behavior was inappropriate as well. At this point, many of the talking points that prior victim shamers have incorporated against the accusers of celebrity men are null and void in this situation. The “why did it take so long?” defense is out the window on this one considering many of the accusations took place less than 10 years ago. Additionally, there are individuals who have spoken out that were not among the accused themselves. This could mean two things, either Freeman is the victim of a mass “hater” campaign or he was so confused by privilege that he just got sloppy. Either way, the likelihood that he’s being lied on relatively low, in my opinion.