CNN Employees Say Parent Company Warner Media’s Decision To Hire Morgan Freeman Is ‘Disrespectful’
CNN published an investigative story last year regarding the allegations, and their parent company, WarnerMedia, still hired Freeman.
November 01, 2019 at 1:53 pm
CNN employees are upset their parent company hired Morgan Freeman to narrate a video presentation, given the allegations of sexual harassment against him.
WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company, presented a video to its investors on Tuesday and used Freeman for voice over, reports Variety.
“Innovation — it can be born out of a single spark,” Freeman can be heard saying. “And this spark has spread to change our lives forever, connecting us instantaneously through the stars high above. Today, that spark is continuing to spread.”
Now, staffers are expressing their dissatisfaction with Freeman as the choice narrator, considering allegations of harassment and inappropriate behavior by eight women against the actor.
Employees are especially shocked because CNN reporters An Phung and Chloe Melas published an investigative story recounting the allegations back in May 2018.
Employees believe the allegations should have automatically disqualified him for the job and many are calling it hypocritical.
“It’s disgusting,” one CNN employee said. “So many of us were scratching our heads in shock, wondering how something like this could even happen.”
In the original CNN story, Melas recounted her own experience with the director.
“According to Melas, who was pregnant at the time, Freeman, in a room full of people, including his co-stars [Alan] Arkin and [Michael] Caine, shook Melas’ hand, not letting go while repeatedly looking her up and down and saying more than once a variation of, ‘I wish I was there.’ She says he also said to her, ‘You are ripe’,” the story reads.
Its unclear what “there” was in reference to.
One employee said the actor being called upon by the network for the gig was “disrespectful” toward Melas, the Grio reports.
“Someone just wasn’t thinking and didn’t do research, I guess.”
“It was tone-deaf,” said another CNN staffer.
When the article was released last year, Freeman denied the allegations, saying the incidents were a misunderstanding and he would never intentionally disrespect anyone.
“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,” he said.
The video presented to investors was used to announce the company’s new streaming service, HBO Max.