Four actresses who were students in Franco’s acting classes and a filmmaker who considered him a mentor say in the article published on Thursday that Franco asked them to perform sexually inappropriate and coercive scenes, and described him “storming off” a movie set when women refused his demands to appear naked.
Some of the women tweeted in protest on Sunday night, when Franco, sporting a “Time’s Up” pin, won a Golden Globe for his latest film “The Disaster Artist.”
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!
Hey James Franco, now that you have a Golden Globe why don't you give speaking roles that don't require nudity in your upcoming films to the dozens of women who have done full nudity + sex scenes in your indie films and art projects?
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?
Actress Sarah Tither-Kaplan told the LA Times that Franco’s show of support for the Time’s Up movement, founded by powerful women in Hollywood to combat workplace sexual harassment, was a “slap in my face.”
Franco, asked about the tweets by Stephen Colbert on Tuesday, denied any wrongdoing, and said claims of misconduct “are not accurate.”
“Look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I have done,” Franco told Colbert. “I have to do that to maintain my well being. 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 shut them down in any way.
“If I have done something wrong,” he continued, “I will fix it — I have to.”
Franco’s lawyer disputed all of the accusations in the LA Times story, and directed the paper to Franco’s comments on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” The lawyer, Michael Plonsker, didn’t immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Hours before Franco’s appearance on the show, The New York Times abruptly canceled a live event with Franco to promote “The Disaster Artist,” citing “recent allegations.”
Sopan Deb, the reporter who had been slated to moderate the event Wednesday evening, tweeted that he had asked Franco to respond to the allegations, but the actor refused.
Another of Franco’s accusers, filmmaker Violet Paley, told the LA Times that Franco pressured her into performing oral sex on him in her car. The two had been having a consensual relationship, but they’d never engaged in oral sex before he exposed himself, she said.
“I was talking to him, all of a sudden his penis was out. I got really nervous, and I said, ‘Can we do this later?’ He was kind of nudging my head down, and I just didn’t want him to hate me, so I did it.”
She began to perform the sex act, but was uncomfortable. To extricate herself from the situation, she told Franco she spotted someone near the car.
Two former acting students, Hilary Dusome and Natalie Chmiel, said Franco “stormed off” a movie set when no women agreed to undress for a scene, and described what they called “an unprofessional and hostile” environment.
Another acting student, Katie Ryan, said Franco gave the impression that women could only advance in their careers “if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts,” adding that Franco would send her and other students audition requests for roles as “a prostitute or a hooker.”
The women described feeling exploited and said they had been afraid to speak out because of Franco’s influence in Hollywood.
“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,” Tither-Kaplan said.
Franco appeared Wednesday night on “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” and again said the allegations on Twitter were “not accurate.” He added that he wouldn’t “actively refute” the women’s claims because “this is a conversation that obviously needs to be had.” He also repeated his support for Time’s Up.
“If I have to take a knock because I’m not going to try and actively refute things, then I will, because I believe in it that much,” he said of the initiative.
In an email to HuffPost on Thursday, Paley said the LA Times article didn’t include all of Franco’s actions toward her. She said there are other women “who were not ready” to share stories about Franco.
Of Franco’s remarks to Colbert and Meyers, Paley said they were “unfortunate because he is lying.”
“He knows what he did,” Paley said. “We all spoke to him in November and December after asking for an apology months before.”
"The forecast should give us a reprieve." Many in the Bay Area are ready to greet the first rain of the season with open arms as soon as Sunday after a spring and summer filled with epic drought conditions. Fire crews hope the precipitation gives them a break from fighting wildfires.
Eric M. Smith, who was 13 when he killed a 4-year-old boy with a rock in western New York, has been granted parole, corrections officials said on Saturday. Smith, now 41, appeared for the 11th time before the Board of Parole on October 5 and was granted release as early as Nov. 17, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said in an emailed statement. Smith was convicted of second-degree murder in 1994 for luring Derrick Robie into woods near the younger boy's home and striking his head with a rock.
A woman was raped by a stranger on a commuter train in suburban Philadelphia in the presence of other riders who a police official said “should have done something." Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt of the Upper Darby Police Department said officers were called to the 69th Street terminal around 10 p.m. Wednesday after the assault on the westbound train on the Market-Frankford Line. An employee of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority who was in the vicinity as the train went past called police to report that “something wasn't right" with a woman aboard the train, Bernhardt said.
It only took about a day after Chase Elliott wished Kevin Harvick “a merry offseason and Happy Christmas” for NASCAR's reigning champion to get the zinger on merchandise on his official website. It's the kind of trolling that typically would infuriate Harvick and incite another round of retaliation in his raging feud with Elliott. Elliott need not worry: NASCAR squashed this rivalry in a conference call with both teams before the drivers even arrived at Texas Motor Speedway for Sunday's opening race of the third round of the playoffs.
All batches of Irbesartan tablets in 75 mg, 150 mg and 300 mg strengths and Irbesartan and Hydrochlorothiazide tablets in 150 mg/12.5 mg and 300 mg/12.5 mg strengths made by Lupin Pharmaceuticals have been recalled.