Morgan Freeman is dropping the boom on CNN.
An attorney for the Oscar winner has demanded the news network retract its allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior by Freeman.
As reported by Yours Truly last week, eight women coalesced in order to accuse the 80-year-old actor of a variety of improprieties from attempted skirt-lifting to something as innocuous as staring at women’s breasts (note: if staring constitutes a legitimate crime, the world’s going to need a whoooole bunch more lawyers).
A 10-page letter to CNN President Jeff Zucker, from Robert M. Schwartz, claims the following:
“CNN has inflicted serious injury on his reputation and career. At a minimum, CNN immediately needs to issue a retraction and apologized to Mr. Freeman through the same channels, and with the same level of attention, that is used to unjustly attack him.”
The document charges CNN with defaming Freeman, which has had “devastating consequences.”
Schwartz asserts, “Mr. Freeman is being viewed in the global court of public opinion as someone akin to notorious harassers and accused rapists, such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. CNN had no justification for doing that.”
Freeman’s rep mandates a loud correction:
“The damage CNN has inflicted is real. And given Mr. Freeman’s career and many motion picture and television commitments, it is substantial. If CNN has any decency or any allegiance to journalistic integrity, it will immediate [sic] retract the article and issue a public apology to Mr. Freeman.”
However, CNN is sticking to its guns, as noted in a statement:
“The unfounded accusations made by Mr. Freeman’s lawyer are disappointing and are difficult to reconcile with Mr. Freeman’s own public statements in the aftermath of the story. CNN stands by its reporting and will respond forcefully to any attempt by Mr. Freeman or his representatives to intimidate us from covering this important public issue.”
Wow — “forcefully.”
Schwartz quickly replied to the network’s position with some powerful ammo:
“We presented CNN with objective evidence, including videotapes and on-the-record denials by the claimed ‘victims,’ that the alleged incident that gave rise to the story never happened. We proved to CNN, beyond any doubt, that the whole story was built on fakery. The credibility of the entire CNN attack on Mr. Freeman has now been undermined. And in choosing to ignore all of the evidence that we presented, CNN has confirmed our concerns about its reporters, its lack of oversight, and its gross misconduct in unjustifiably attacking Mr. Freeman.”
For more on last week’s accusations and Morgan’s personal response to them, please read on at my article below.
Do you believe, given the nature of the charges against him, Morgan is being unduly hit? Is he incurring a blight on his reputation and career which is undeserved and merely a product of the hypersensitivity of this #MeToo moment? Or are he and all of Hollywood getting what they had coming? Please sound off in the Comments section below.
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