James Franco Denies Sexual Misconduct After Allegations
James Franco's Golden Globe win for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Sunday night (January 7) lost its sheen when he found himself at the center of a collection of sexual misconduct allegations that have so far cost him at least one job.
Franco, whose Disaster Artist efforts earned him the prize, became the subject of former co-worker Ally Sheedy's scorn during the broadcast (Franco directed Sheedy in 2014's off-Broadway play The Long Shrift). Sheedy wrote "Why is James Franco allowed in?" and "James Franco just won. Please never ask me why I left the film/tv business" in a series of since-deleted tweets captured by Vanity Fair, leading followers to believe she had an unsavory story to tell.
Additional, more specific accusations followed on Twitter (“Remember the time you pushed my head down in a car towards your exposed penis & that other time you told my friend to come to your hotel when she was 17?" actress Violet Paley wrote on Twitter), and some viewers were also reminded of a 2014 scandal — reported by E! News — in which Franco tried to solicit a teenager on Instagram. Consequently, according to Variety, Franco's forthcoming talk with The New York Times was canceled.
“The event was intended to be a discussion of the making of the film, The Disaster Artist. Given the controversy surrounding recent allegations, we’re no longer comfortable proceeding in that vein,” The Times said in an email to Variety.
Franco denied wrongdoing during a Tuesday night (January 9) appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, during which he said he had no idea what Sheedy was referring to.
“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 others… look, in my life, I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I’ve done," he added. "I have to do that to maintain my well-being. I do it whenever I know that there is something wrong or needs to be changed, I make it a point to do it...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.”
Franco also said he had no regrets about wearing a "Time's Up" pin — an emblem of the push for women's rights and safety in the workplace — which Twitter users saw as hypocritical.
“Well, first, I want to say I wore it because I do support it," he said. "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."
Celebs Caught in Career-Ending Scandals: