A few days ago, after his Golden Globes win for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his performance in The Disaster Artist, James Franco found himself in the spotlight — but not exactly for the reason he wanted to be. Soon after his win, several women, including actress Ally Sheedy, began tweeting allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
The day after his big win, Franco was scheduled to appear on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and he did — but the host punctuated the interview about Franco’s film with questions about Time’s Up and the allegations against him. What ensued was a, erm, bizarre interview.
When asked about the Time’s Up movement and his decision to wear the pin, which signified taking a stand against sexual assault in the entertainment industry, Franco said,
“Well, first, I want to say I wore it because I do support it. I was, you know — look, I was so excited to win, but being in that room that night was incredible. I mean, it was powerful. And there were incredible voices, and I support it.”
However, as the interview went on, he denied all allegations against him.
“Okay, 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 pride myself on taking responsibility for the 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 a point to do it. 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. … I don’t want to, you know, shut them down in any way. It’s, I think, a good thing and I support it.”
There’s a lot of mixed messages from the statement, though in all fairness, it’s probably hard to look like an ally when people are accusing you of being a perpetrator. Franco ended the interview with this final message:
“[I]f I’ve done something wrong, I will fix it. I have to … 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.”
Some people weren’t pleased with the interview or the fact that Colbert tried to go there at all, while others praised him for addressing the elephant in the room.
Though Franco was given the opportunity to address the allegations with Colbert, he may not be so lucky in other places — the New York Times has already cancelled his interview about the making of The Disaster Artist due to the “controversy surrounding recent allegations” making them uncomfortable.
With the Academy Awards around the corner, it’ll be interesting to see how they respond to these allegations, as Franco was believed to be a solid nominee based on his performance in The Disaster Artist. I have a feeling this isn’t the end of the allegations against Franco.