James Franco Accused of Sexually Inappropriate Behavior By Five Women
UPDATE (1/11/18 at 12:26 p.m. ET):
Five women have accused James Franco of being sexually inappropriate.
In an article published in the Los Angeles Times, the women — four of whom were his students — accuse the star of being sexually exploitative.
The 39-year-old worked as an acting teacher and taught at Playhouse West in North Hollywood. He also opened his own film school, Studio 4, which has since been shut down.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan, who worked with the 127 Hours star on his 2015 film The Long Home, said he removed safety guards while filming an oral sex scene.
“I got it in my head pretty quickly that, OK, you don’t say ‘no’ to this guy,” she said.
“I feel there was an abuse of power, and there was a culture of exploiting non-celebrity women, and a culture of women being replaceable.”
Another woman, Natalie Chmiel, says he became “visibly angry” when actresses denied to film a scene topless.
"He just took advantage of our eagerness to work and be a part of something bigger. We were all these up-and-coming actors who were so hopeful."
Since these allegations have come out, questions have come up about his behavior on the HBO show The Deuce, which was just renewed for a second season.
According to the network, there has been no complaints about James.
“We have verified that no complaints about Mr. Franco have come in on ‘The Deuce’ production,” they said in a statement.
Original story (1/10/18 at 9:59 a.m. ET):
James Franco finally addressed the sexual harassment allegations against him.
The actor appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and was asked about the criticism he received for wearing a Time’s Up pin during the 2018 Golden Globes over the weekend.
Many women, including actress Ally Sheedy, called out The Disaster Artist star on social media.
“Why is James Franco allowed in? Said too much,” the former Breakfast Club star said in now-deleted tweets.
“James Franco just won. Please never ever ask me why I left the film/tv business.”
When asked about the tweets by Stephen Colbert, the 39-year-old was direct in his response.
“Okay, first of all, I have no idea what I did to Ally Sheedy, I directed her in a play Off-Broadway. I had nothing but a great time with her, total respect for her. I have no idea why she was upset,” he said.
“She took the tweet down. I don’t know. I can’t speak for her, I don’t know.”
The 127 Hours actor directed Ally in his Off-Broadway directorial debut, The Long Shrift.
“The others… look, in my life, I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I’ve done. I have to do that to maintain my well-being,” he shared.
“I do it whenever I know that there is something wrong or needs to be changed, I make it a point to do it.”
He continued, “The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate, but I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice because they didn’t have a voice for so long.
“So I don’t want to, you know, shut them down in any way. It’s, I think, a good thing and I support it.”
He also explained why he decided to wear the Time’s Up pin to the awards show.
“Well, first, I want to say I wore it because I do support it. I was, you know – look, I was so excited to win, but being in that room that night was incredible. I mean, it was powerful,” he shared.
“I support change. I support 50/50 and 20/20 which just means, you know, people that are underrepresented, women, and people of color, people in the LGBT community get, you know, positions – leadership positions that they fill all positions that they have been deprived of, I completely believe in that.”
As for how he hopes future allegations of sexual harassment and assault should be addressed, the Freaks and Geeks vet hopes people learn to listen.
“The way I live my life, I can’t live if there’s restitution to be made. I will make it. So if I’ve done something wrong, I will fix it. I have to. I mean, I think that’s how that works,” he said.
“I mean, as far as the bigger issues, you know, how we do it, I really don’t have the answers and I think the point of this whole thing is that we listen."
He continued, “You know, there were incredible people talking that night. They had a lot to say, and I’m here to listen and learn and change my perspective where it’s off, and I’m completely willing and want to.”
What are your thoughts on the allegations and his response? Let us know!