James Franco has issued a response to the sexual abuse/assault allegations against him. The actor/filmmaker won big at Sunday’s Golden Globes, picking up an award for his role in The Disaster Artist. However, it was Franco’s Time’s Up pin and alleged past misconduct that had everyone talking. On a night marked by female empowerment in an industry seeking long-overdue accountability for its hidden predators, Franco’s win struck a chord with actresses claiming to have been hurt by him in the past.
Following his Sunday night win, actress Ally Sheedy (The Breakfast Club), who worked with Franco on a play in 2014, took to Twitter to claim Franco’s award as evidence of the reason she left Hollywood. Sheedy did not go into detail as to why she was publicly calling out Franco and later took down the tweet. Actress Violet Paley was a lot more forthcoming with her grievances against Franco, accusing him of assault and of attempting to pick up on underage girls. Paley accused Franco of forcing her head toward his exposed penis while the two shared a vehicle. She also said Franco had tried to get another actress to meet him in his hotel room, knowing she was only 17-years-old. Other reports have described Franco’s hiring of underage actresses for nude scenes in his projects as exploitation.
Franco appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and spoke about the allegations. You can watch the full video, below:
Franco told Colbert that he fully supports the Time’s Up movement and wanted to see underrepresented people in positions of power in the year 2020. He then admitted that he has not read the Tweets against him, but has only been notified of their existence by people close to him and that he has no idea what exactly they were in reference to. Franco told Colbert that he from what he had gathered about the tweets, the allegations were “not accurate”, but he said he had no desire to detract from the actresses’ statements or “to shut them down in any way ” – saying he fully supports victims being able to have a voice and a platform to tell their stories.
Many have been quick to point out the age of consent in New York (where these events allegedly took place) as being 17, the age Paley and the other unnamed actresses were said to be at the time. However, that does nothing to ease the specifically detailed allegations from Paley regarding the attempted assault by Franco.
More on this story as it develops.