The New York Times has canceled a TimesTalk James Franco and his brother Dave were going to do to discuss "The Disaster Artist." Franco just won a Golden Globe Award for his performance in that movie, which he also directed. But during the Globes, Ally Sheedy and other actresses spoke out in protest of Franco being there and being rewarded -- seeing it as hypocritical on a night where it was supposed to be Time's Up on sexual misconduct.
"The Breakfast Club" alum Ally Sheedy shared tweets about Franco (and Christian Slater) that she later deleted suggesting he's tied to her reason for leaving the business:
Two other women who knew Franco alleged sexual misconduct via Twitter, also during the Globes. Here's part of what Violet Paley wrote:
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
She added that Franco had recently apologized for his past conduct to herself and "a few other girls." One of those girls may or may not have been Sarah Tither-Kaplan, a former acting student of Franco's, who tweeted about an exploitative nude scene experience with him. (Update: On Jan. 11, five women -- including Sarah Tither-Kaplan -- accused Franco of sexually exploitative behavior in an article by the Los Angeles Times.)
In the wake of the shifting conversation about Franco, the NY Times issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter and other outlets saying they would cancel the TimesTalk planned for today (Wednesday):
"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."
James Franco still appeared on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" on Tuesday night, and Colbert asked him about the allegations. Franco said he did support Time's Up, and he heard about (but didn't read himself) the things women wrote on Twitter.
"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. She took the tweet down. I don't know. I can't speak for her.
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 there's something wrong ... I make a point to do it. The things that I heard on Twitter are not accurate. But I completely support people coming out and having a voice because they didn't have a voice for so long..."
Watch the very uncomfortable interview:James Franco was previously in headlines when, at age 35, he tried to hook up with a 17-year-old on Instagram and invite her back to his hotel. He knew she was 17, but in New York that's legal age of consent, so the leaked "sexts" were creepy but not illegal. He admitted to that flirting in another awkward interview on "Live! With Kelly and Michael":
"'m embarrassed, and I guess I'm just a model of, you know, how social media is tricky," Franco said in the 2014 interview. "It's a way people meet each other today. But what I've learned I guess just because I'm new to it is like, you don't know who's on the other end. You meet somebody in person and you get a feel for them but you don't know who you're talking to, and, you know? So I used bad judgment. I learned my lesson."
If Franco, now 39, goes on to win Best Actor after revived talk of past sexual misconduct allegations, he would be following in the footsteps of the reigning Best Actor winner Casey Affleck.
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