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Why The Apology By Morgan Freeman Underlines Rape Culture And Is Not Acceptable

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Morgan Freeman, one of the most respected and veteran actors of Hollywood, was recently  accused of harassment by multiple women.

Morgan Freeman has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. One of the women accused him of trying to lift her skirt to see if she was wearing an underwear. The woman added that Freeman regularly touched her without her consent and made inappropriate comments about her body. Other women said, “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.” One of the female employees from his company, Revelations, said that Freeman would come over to her desk and stare at her breasts. A male employee has said that Freeman just walked up to a female intern and started massaging her shoulder (without her permission).

It took everyone by surprise and made us revisit the #metoo movement. Freeman’s apology did not appear convincing and we are agitated to say the least.

Freeman recently issued a statement saying:

“All victims of assault and harassment deserve to be heard. And we need to listen to them. But it is not right to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or humor. I admit that I am someone who feels a need to try to make women—and men—feel appreciated and at ease around me. As part of that, I would often try to joke with and compliment women, in what I thought was a light-hearted and humorous way. Clearly I was not always coming across the way I intended. And that is why I apologized Thursday and will continue to apologize to anyone I might have upset, however unintentionally. 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.”

So basically, in Freeman’s world, trying to lift a woman’s skirt to see if she is wearing an underwear, touching women without consent, is just ‘paying compliments’ to them! Making inappropriate comments about women’s bodies and making them so uncomfortable that they changed the way they dressed is “humor”.

Morgan Freeman went on to add

“I am devastated that 80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye, by media reports.”

And what about the women who have been victims of his behavior? What about their lives? So this guy lifted a woman’s skirt and HE is the one who is feeling like a victim?

You can clearly see in Freeman’s statement that he is comparing his behavior to men who have done “worse things” and trying to divert people’s attention so that people can forget what HE has done! This is something many men do: They say that they have never raped a woman and hence whenever women try to discuss important issues like rape culture or find strength in the #MeToo movement, these men will say #NotAllMen.

So here’s the thing

NO ONE is saying that all men are rapists. But all kinds of inappropriate behavior, no matter how small they are, contribute to rape culture. You don’t deserve applause for not raping a woman! You don’t deserve any medal for not sexually assaulting a woman. If you are a man, the least you can do is call out your “bros” for inappropriate behavior, sexist comments/jokes, mansplaining and more.

It’s time we stop putting up with shitty apologies like the one made my men like Morgan Freeman. And yes, Mr. Freeman, you are facing the consequences of the shit you have done, so stop behaving like a victim. For your information, you did create unsafe work environments and the comments made by multiple women bear a testimony to it.

Header image is a still from the movie Transcendence

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