A major credit card company and municipal transit system will no longer use Morgan Freeman‘s likeness in its advertising. Deadline reported yesterday (May 24) that both Visa and Vancouver’s TransLink system suspended their promotional material featuring the veteran actor.
Deadline noted that Visa cast Freeman in many television ads, while TransLink used his voiceover for a campaign promoting its Visa-affiliated mobile payment system and credit card.
“In light of information we’ve learned through news stories this morning of serious allegations against actor Morgan Freeman, TransLink has decided to pause his voice announcements as part of a Visa ad campaign on the transit system,” TransLink said in a statement to Deadline.
CNN reported on eight women’s allegations of sexual harassment and lewd behavior. They included CNN entertainment reporter and article co-author Chloe Melas, who said that Freeman once told her, "You are ripe" and "I wish I was in there" during a press junket. Melas was six months pregnant at the time, and the experience compelled her to investigate further.
The accusations against Freeman range from similar comments—typically about female employees and production personnel’s bodies—to unwanted massages, groping and other touching. Much of this alleged behavior occurred in full sight of witnesses, enabling a toxic work culture on movie sets and Freeman’s Revelations Entertainment production company.
“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy,” Freeman said in a statement to Variety and other publications. “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected—that was never my intent.