Morgan Freeman is returning to NatGeo despite those allegations of misconduct earlier this year.
NatGeo released a statement Friday saying Freeman’s docuseries The Story of God will resume production on its third season after the show was put on hold while the cable network’s parent company investigated reports of unwanted touching and inappropriate comments made by the actor on other sets.
“Through production on critically acclaimed series The Story of God and The Story of Us, we have valued a longstanding relationship with Morgan Freeman,” the network said. “When we learned of recent allegations surrounding Mr. Freeman completely unrelated to our work with him, as a precaution we paused production on our new season in order to complete a thorough investigation led by our parent company Fox, executed through an independent investigator. The results of this investigation revealed no incidents of concern during any of our work with Mr. Freeman.”
Continued NatGeo: “We have now made the decision to move forward with the production of season three of The Story of God. This series has expanded our understanding of religion and culture around the world and has touched many of our fans, and along with Morgan and the team at Revelations Entertainment, we look forward to resuming pre-production this September. As a company, we take all issues of harassment very seriously and we’re confidently assured by the results of the investigation.”
Last May, 16 individuals came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct and “inappropriate behavior” against the 80-year-old actor in a CNN story. Freeman strongly denied the allegations in a statement: “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. 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. I admit that I am someone who feels a need to try to make women — and men — 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 light-hearted and humorous way. Clearly, I was not always coming across the way I intended. And that is why I apologized Thursday and will continue to apologize to anyone I might have upset, however unintentionally. But I also want to be clear: 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.”
The Story of God season 3 will premiere on NatGeo in 2019.