Several Women Speak Out Against James Franco After Golden Globe Win

After James Franco wore a “Time’s Up” pin to accept his award at the Golden Globes and said that “standing up to sexual assault is everybody’s responsibility”, several women alleged that the actor had engaged in sexual misconduct towards them.

Right after the win, actress Sarah Tither-Kaplan, a former student of Franco’s acting school, tweeted that Franco had forced her to engage in full nudity in one of his movies after she signed a “vague and general” contract. “Nudity contracts are supposed to have FULL and DETAILED descriptions of nudity required,” she said, in a later tweet. “Sex scenes are supposed to be choreographed ahead of time. Nude scenes are never supposed to be improvised. This was never the case on the films I worked on.”

A day later, Violet Paley tweeted, “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?” Although Paley was in a consensual relationship with Franco at the time, she alleges that the incident in question was not consensual.

Many also tweeted about the second incident that Paley referred to, where Franco tried to pick up a 17-year-old girl back in 2014 when he was 36. After the girl met Franco in New York, they began to exchange Instagram messages, and Franco asked her to meet up with him even after she told him she was 17. When the story went public, Franco said on the Howard Stern Show, “Seventeen is legal in New York, but that being said, it’s still pretty damn young.” He also wrote “I HOPE PARENTS KEEP THEIR TEENS AWAY FROM ME” on his Instagram.

While The Breakfast Club’s Ally Sheedy did not offer specific allegations about the star, she made and then deleted several tweets that hinted at that possibility. “Ok wait. Bye. Christian Slater and James Franco at a table on @goldenglobes #MeToo,” Sheedy wrote in one tweet, using the hashtag that people have used to speak about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault. She followed it up by tweeting, “James Franco just won. Please never ever ask me why I left the film/TV business.”

Despite the event’s stated commitment to the “#MeToo” movement, Weinstein accusers Rose McGowan and Asia Argento were not invited. “I can only speak for myself but not only I wasn’t invited to the #GoldenGlobes: nobody asked my opinion about #TIMESUP or to sign the letter,” Argento tweeted. “It would’ve been too much of a downer… an embarrassment. Victims aren’t glamorous enough.” McGowan called the event “Hollywood fakery,” and questioned whether those wearing black to support sexual assault victims meant it beyond an empty gesture.

It remains to be seen whether the event represents a genuine commitment to challenging the industry’s sexist, enabling norms, or whether it’s just a smokescreen for business as usual.

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