James Franco denies sexual misconduct accusations
NOTE: This article contains disturbing and sexually explicit language. Please read at your own discretion.
“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. It’s a good thing and I support it,” Franco said.
Franco was criticized for supporting the Time’s Up movement during Sunday’s Golden Globes ceremony, where he won the best actor award in a musical or comedy for The Disaster Artist. He was accused of sexual misconduct by actress Violet Paley, who claimed Franco “pushed” her head down towards his “exposed penis” while they were in a car. Paley later tweeted Franco called her recently to apologize.
Another accuser to come forward on Globes night was Sarah Tither-Kaplan, a former student at Franco’s acting school — Studio 4, which closed its doors permanently in October without explanation. She alleged the actor essentially forced his students to strip naked on set for $100 per day (after signing a “vague and general at best” contract).
WATCH BELOW: James Franco accused of sexual misconduct
She urged Franco to “give speaking roles that don’t require nudity in your upcoming films to the dozens of women who have done full nudity and sex scenes in your indie films and art projects.”
In a series of deleted tweets, actress Ally Sheedy expressed concern about Franco’s Golden Globes win. “Why is James Franco allowed in? Said too much,” she wrote. Sheedy later added, “James Franco just won. Please never ever ask me why I left the film/tv business.”
Sheedy worked with Franco in 2014 on his Off-Broadway directorial debut, The Long Shrift.
“OK, first of all, I have no idea what I did to Ally Sheedy,” Franco said to Colbert. “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 so upset. 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. 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.”
Colbert asked Franco if there is “some way to have this conversation that piggybacks on what’s happening in social media” so that there “can be some sort of reconciliation between people who clearly have different views of things.”
“The way I live my life, I can’t live if there’s restitution to be made. I will make it,” Franco said. “So if I’ve done something wrong, I will fix it. I have to. I mean, I think that’s how that works.”
Franco continued: “I don’t know what else, I don’t know what else to do. I mean, as far as the bigger issues, you know, how we do it. I, look, I really don’t have the answers and I think the point of this whole thing is that we listen. 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.”
In the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations, the New York Times cancelled an event with Franco.
The Pineapple Express actor has been removed from a scheduled appearance at the New York Times’ TimesTalks following the claims.
“The event was intended to be a discussion of the making of the film, The Disaster Artist,” the Times said in a statement. “Given the controversy surrounding recent allegations, we’re no longer comfortable proceeding in that vein.”
Watch Franco on The Late Show in the video above.
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert airs on Global on weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.
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