Morgan Freeman says this could "undermine" everything he's done. On Friday, the 80-year-old actor issued a personal defense of his behavior with women, saying he's kidded around with female colleagues but never jeopardized work environments or offered jobs for sex, the LA Times reports. "I am devastated that 80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye, by Thursday’s media reports," Freeman says in a statement. "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."
Freeman is likely referring to recent Entertainment Tonight footage of him sitting down with female interviewers. In one instance, he asks a correspondent if she was married and "fooled around with other guys." In another, with author/activist Janet Mock, he marvels at how she "got a dress halfway between your knee and your hips, and ... cross[ed] your legs." For Mock, this was "an exhibition of the casual nature at which men in positions of power believe that everything belongs to them, including women's bodies." But Freeman says he only wanted women to "feel appreciated and at ease around me. As a part of that, I would often try to joke with and compliment women, in what I thought was a lighthearted and humorous way." See his initial apology here. (Read more Morgan Freeman stories.)