James Franco faced backlash after he wore a Time’s Up pin at the Golden Globes on Sunday night, Jan. 7. Five women have come out to accuse Franco of sexual misconduct in response.
The Time’s Up movement supports those who have faced sexual assault and misconduct. The Harvey Weinstein scandal and the resulting fallout instigated Time’s Up.
The accusations against Franco began to pour out after Ally Sheedy tweeted:
“James Franco just won. Please never ever ask me why I left the film/tv business.”
She has since deleted the tweet. Franco directed Sheedy in an off-Broadway play in 2014. Consequently, Franco recently went on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to address the claims. He said that he had “total respect for her” and “had no idea” why the actress was upset.
He then went on to say:
“If I’ve done something wrong, I’ll fix it. I have to…. I’m here to listen and learn and change my perspective where it’s off. I’m completely willing, and I want to.”
Since his interview, more women took to Twitter to share their shady experiences with the actor-director.
One woman, Sarah Tither-Kaplan wrote about an experience she had working with Franco doing a “full nudity” scene for “$100/day.”
Hey James Franco, nice #timesup pin at the #GoldenGlobes , remember a few weeks ago when you told me the full nudity you had me do in two of your movies for $100/day wasn't exploitative because I signed a contract to do it? Times up on that!
— Sarah Tither-Kaplan🌈 (@sarahtk) January 8, 2018
Tither-Kaplan spoke with the Los Angeles Times to elaborate that during an orgy scene, Franco took off the protective plastic guards covering the women’s vaginas and simulated oral sex on them. 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.”
Franco’s attorney, Michael Plonsker, denies the claims:
“The allegations about the protective guards are not accurate.”
Several other female students of Franco’s film school, Studio 4 (now closed), recounted different times when he got angry after no women on set agreed to go topless.
In addition, another student, Hilary Dusome, recalled being selected to be in one of Franco’s films. He apparently took the chosen actresses to shoot a scene in a strip club and had them wear lingerie. He then asked, “So, who wants to take your shirt off?” in the middle of the filming process. Dusome said:
“I felt like I was selected for something based on my hard work and my merit, and when I realized it was because I have nice [breasts], it was pretty clear that was not the case. I don’t think he started teaching with bad intentions, but he went down a bad path and damaged a lot of people in the process.”
Franco’s lawyer denies accusations. Vince Jolivette, co-owner of Rabbit Bandini Productions which ran Studio 4, said “the school was always run professionally” in a statement. He added, that “instructors were excellent, student feedback was positive.”
Violet Paley, the actor’s former mentee, also took to Twitter after Franco won two awards at the Golden Globes. She tweeted about an instance when Franco “pushed [her head] down in a car” towards his exposed crotch, and called him out for inviting a 17-year-old into his hotel room for a second time.
Cute #TIMESUP pin James Franco. 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? After you had already been caught doing that to a different 17 year old?
— Violet Paley (@VioletPaley) January 8, 2018
The two later went on to have a consensual romantic relationship, but she told the Times that the “power dynamic was really off” between them.
Read the full LA Times article by clicking here.
James Franco has yet to release an official statement regarding the new allegations.
Watch his interview with Stephen Colbert below.