Visa pulled the plug on Morgan Freeman Thursday, yanking his voice over pitches in light of sexual harassment allegations made against the actor.
Freeman is one of the most sought-after voices in advertising, but it took only a few hours for the credit-card titan Visa swipe him off its spots.
“We are aware of the allegations that have been made against Mr. Freeman,” according to a company statement. “At this point, Visa will be suspending our marketing in which the actor is featured.”
Freeman’s union, SAG-AFTRA, is also thinking about taking “corrective actions” against the actor – and possibly taking back its Life Achievement Award, Daily Variety reported.
Freeman was the 54th recipient of the SAG Life Achievement Award. The hardware was given to him by Rita Moreno during the televised Jan. 21 show.
The annual award is given to a thespian who stands for the “finest ideals of the acting profession.”
Freeman’s problem on Thursday even went north of the border, when the Vancouver transit system yanked 11 of his recorded messages.
The TransLink recordings featured Freeman notifying riders about a new mobile payment feature, asking them to keep their feet off the seats and reminding them not to smoke in buses, according to audio files published by the Vancouver Sun.
“Hello, bus riders. This is a smoke-free bus, but I’m sure you already knew that,” says one track. “What you might not know, however, is that you can now tap your Visa to go anywhere TransLink takes you. Have a great day.”
Another one said: “Hello, transit riders. Remember what your mom used to say: Please keep your feet off the furniture.”
The plan to debut the greetings in June was put on indefinite hold after a CNN report detailed sexual harassment allegations made by 11 women against the 80-year-old actor, including that he made suggestive and demeaning comments to them, and in one instance, repeatedly tried to lift the skirt of a young production assistant working on his 2015 flick “Going In Style.”
The collaboration did not cost TransLink anything and the transit authority did not pay or hire Freeman for the voice work; the announcements are part of an ad campaign paid for by Visa Canada.
“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. We will be in touch with VISA to discuss further,” TransLink said in a statement
This story originally appeared in the New York Post.