Morgan Freeman's Voice Pulled From Advertisements Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Update | Brands associated with actor Morgan Freeman have begun to pull advertisements featuring his voice amid a series of sexual harassment allegations that surfaced Thursday.

Freeman is among the biggest A-list talents in Hollywood. At this time, eight women have accused the 80-year-old of engaging in a "pattern of inappropriate behavior," according to the original CNN report. The apparent victims claimed the incidents occurred on film sets, in interviews and at Revelations Entertainment—his independent movie production company.

The Academy Award winner issued an apology to the women who came forward with their alleged accounts. "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 issued to Variety Thursday. "I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected—that was never my intent."

Over the years, Freeman's voice has proven to be widely recognizable. It's been featured in a slew of advertisements, including one created especially for Hillary Clinton's presidential election campaign in 2016. Despite his apology, brands linked to the actor are beginning to disassociate with him.

TransLink, a Canadian transit company, announced it will temporarily suspend its use of Freeman-featured advertisements. "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," the company said in a statement to the Vancouver Sun.

TransLink ultimately pulled 11 advertisements, which were intended to remind passengers of behavioral rules and new features, among other things. However, the company didn't pay to use Freeman's likeness since it was part of a paid collaboration through Visa Canada, who also confirmed it's revoking its support for the actor.

Following a fan's request for Canada-born actor Seth Rogen to cover Freeman's voiceover duties for TransLink, Rogen suggested Thursday that "if they need a replacement now let me know." The company responded to Rogen's proposal, saying: "Thanks for the offer Seth. Let's DM and talk."

Freeman was also heavily featured in a Super Bowl commercial for Mountain Dew, which showed him lip-sync rapping to a Missy Elliot track. Since its debut, it has been prominently featured during this year's NBA playoffs. However, a spokesperson for Mountain Dew's owner—PepsiCo—informed Newsweek that the contract for Freeman's commercial "expired a couple weeks ago and the ad hasn't run since then." PepsiCo additionally claimed that this is a "standard" practice for its celebrity-featured advertisements.

Aside from the Going in Style actor's pulled advertisement ventures, the Screen Actors Guild is currently reviewing whether necessary action needs to be taken amid Freeman's allegations since he was the ceremony's Lifetime Achievement recipient in January.

"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," SAG-AFTRA said in a statement issued to Deadline Thursday. "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."

Representatives for TransLink and Visa didn't respond to Newsweek's initial request for comment.

This story was updated to include comment from PepsiCo.

Morgan Freeman pic
Actor Morgan Freeman's voice is being removed from advertisements amid sexual harassment allegations. Here, Freeman is pictured posing at the premiere for "Just Getting Started" in Los Angeles, California, U.S., December 7, 2017. Reuters/Mario Anzuoni