As many as eight women have come forward with allegations of harassment and inappropriate behaviour against Morgan Freeman. According to a CNN report, Freeman made the life of a young production assistant miserable on the sets of “Going In Style” in 2015. She alleges that Freeman subjected her to unwanted touching. He also made comments about her figure and clothing on a near-daily basis. Freeman would rest his hand on her lower back or rub her lower back. As per the survivor, one time he “kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear.”

This, however, was not an isolated incident of harassment.  A senior female member of the production staff along with her assistant from the 2012 movie “Now You See Me” alleged that Freeman made comments about their bodies on numerous occasions. She says, “He did comment on our bodies… 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, meaning not wearing clothes that [were] fitted.”

Despite eight female witnesses coming forward to support the allegations of these eight survivors, people seem to be in denial over their credibility. It is as if Freeman’s fans are not just prepared for the betrayal at the hands of another beloved superstar.

But will their denial make these allegations any less true?

Freeman is not just a Hollywood star, he is an icon for all ages across genders. These allegations are thus heart-breaking and make us wonder, is our adulation so intoxicating that the stalwart thought he could get away with it?

I can understand why his fans are in such denial over this report.  The guy played God on-screen for crying out loud! How could God go wrong? Freeman is probably a threshold for them, to tolerate indecent conduct from Hollywood biggies. His fall from the pedestal that we put him on has made them so numb.

But people must remember that their denial isn’t going to make the problem at hand disappear.

Morgan Freeman may be an icon for many, but that should not prevent us from calling out the 80-year old’s inappropriate conduct. Because it must have been a struggle for the survivors to come out as well. They knew that Freeman is a phenomenon. Probably one of the most loved Hollywood actors. They knew people would not come around to this news easily. Yet these women showed strength to come out with their allegations. Our denial to accept their grievances disrespect their courage.

Many of us want to grieve today, for being betrayed by a man we adored so much. But his actions don’t deserve our grief. They only deserve our criticism. It is hard for me, and it must be hard for you. But do not have any sympathies for Morgan Freeman today, because he has made us question the effects that our fandom has on the attitude of men like him. Men who think it is okay to inappropriately touch women, or comment on their dresses, just because people think you are a god. Freeman not only abused these women, he has abused the power of our love. Let’s let that sink in, and stand to support these eight brave survivors, instead of shedding tears for losing an icon.

Picture Credit : CynSimp – Flickr

Also Read : Sexual Harassment Impedes Empowerment in More Ways than One

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.

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