Following sexual assault allegations by 16 women, Visa announced on Thursday that it was suspending its voice talent, actor Morgan Freeman from any of its marketing. This according to The Wrap. On Thursday, eight women told CNN that the actor made unwelcome remarks about their appearance or their clothing choices, and some reported he would stare at them or touch them.
“We are aware of the allegations that have been made against Mr. Freeman,” the company said. “At this point, Visa will be suspending our marketing in which the actor is featured.”
In addition, Vancouver public transportation system, TransLink, also said it paused the use of Freeman’s voice for transit announcements on Thursday. The city’s transit authority had teamed with Visa for an ad campaign using Freeman’s voice. This was just announced on May 22.
“In light of information we’ve learned this 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,” TransLink said in a statement. “We will be reaching out to VISA to discuss further.”
SAG-AFTRA has also announced that it is “reviewing” the Lifetime Achievement Award that was given to Freeman. “These are compelling and devastating allegations which are absolutely contrary to all the steps that we are taking to insure a safe work environment for the professionals in this industry,” a SAG-AFTRA spokesperson told TheWrap on Thursday. “Any accused person has the right to due process, but it is our starting point to believe the courageous voices who come forward to report incidents of harassment.”
The statement concluded, “Given Mr. Freeman recently received one of our union’s most prestigious honors recognizing his body of work, we are therefore reviewing what corrective actions may be warranted at this time.”
The actor has denied the allegations and issued a statement apologizing to “anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected.”
“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. “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”
Contact Colin Costello at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.