Visa drops Morgan Freeman ads after actor gets his #MeToo moment
Morgan Freeman has been dropped by Visa from its advertising campaign after the actor was accused of harassment and inappropriate behavior by eight women.
“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.
Visa has been featuring the 80-year-old Hollywood star in its commercials and using his voice in advertisements. Freeman, who once lent his voice to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, has also provided voiceovers for several commercials, including for USA CORPS, Save the Children's “Be a Mentor” program, and Turkish Airlines.
Vancouver public transit system TransLink also announced plans to put its current marketing campaign on hold. The ads feature Freeman's voice promoting Visa credit cards and mobile payments on the city's transit system.
“In light of information we learned Thursday morning of allegations regarding actor Morgan Freeman, TransLink has decided to pause his voice announcements as part of a Visa ad campaign on our transit system. We will be reaching out to Visa to discuss further,” a TransLink spokesperson said.
The allegations were revealed by CNN journalists, who reportedly talked to 16 people as part of an investigation, with half of the interviewees declaring themselves to be victims of “harassment” or “inappropriate behavior” by Freeman at his production company, Revelations Entertainment.
The Oscar-winning actor said any suggestion that he assaulted women or created an unsafe workplace was false and apologized to anyone he might have upset.
“Clearly I was not always coming across the way I intended,” Freeman said, stressing that he would apologize to anyone he may have unintentionally upset. “I am devastated that 80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye.
“But I also want to be clear: I did not create unsafe work environments. I did not assault women. I did not offer employment or advancement in exchange for sex. Any suggestion that I did so is completely false,” the actor added.
The wave of scandalous accusations against male actors, filmmakers and agents swept across Hollywood last October. The claims sparked a #MeToo social media movement, launched by alleged victims sharing their stories of sexual harassment or abuse. Last week, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was charged with rape and other sex crimes.
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