Actor James Franco has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct in the days following his win for The Disaster Artist at the Golden Globes last weekend. In a recent report by The Los Angeles Times, five women, including Violet Paley and Sarah Tither-Kaplan, who tweeted accusations about Franco after the Golden Globes, came forward to accuse the star of misconduct. Now, co-creator of The Deuce, the HBO series Franco currently stars in and produces, David Simon has addressed the allegations. Here's what he had to say in a statement.
"I'm still reading it the same as everyone else, trying to discern what is or isn't there. Personally I can only speak knowledgeably to The Deuce. I've checked with all my fellow producers and other personnel. We have no complainant or complaint or any awareness of any incident of concern involving Mr. Franco. Nor has HBO been approached with any complaint. In our experience, he was entirely professional as an actor, director, and producer."
James Franco, since the initial allegations were made against him on Twitter, has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Late Night with Seth Meyers. In both cases, the hosts grilled Franco about the sexual misconduct allegations and, in both cases, Franco denied, saying the claims were not accurate. Here's what he had to say while speaking with Seth Meyers, addressing the situation and his decision to where his Time's Up pin, which was called into question by many.
"Yes, I was sent a couple of the tweets, so yeah, I did read them. I haven't responded. I think, well the ones I read were not accurate, but one of the things that I've learned is that this is a conversation that obviously needs to be had. There are people, women and others, who have not been a part of this conversation and I truly believe and why I was wearing the pin is that they need to be a part of this conversation and so I support that."
Sarah Tither-Kaplan, in the Los Angeles Times piece, alleges that James Franco abused his power as a mentor and as an acting teacher. She claims that, during an orgy scene on the movie The Long Home, Franco removed the protective plastic guards from the actresses' genitals while simulating oral sex. According to Cynthia Huffman, the casting director of the movie, they took great steps to make sure the women working in the scene were comfortable.
"I feel so bad that Sarah feels the way she does. She is part of our camp! All actresses were aware of the nudity scenes ahead of time. I personally checked on all the actresses constantly to make sure they were ok and comfortable. I talked to them several times and told them if they were uncomfortable or did not like what was going on to come to me immediately and I would take care of it. I did not receive any complaints. James is all about giving up and comers, actors and actresses and young filmmakers a break in this business. I feel horrible that anyone was made to feel uncomfortable but we went to great lengths to make sure all the actresses in the nude scenes felt comfortable and safe. We are all about making movies and having fun on set!"
In addition to the women who came forward while speaking with the L.A. Times, actress Ally Sheedy also made accusations against James Franco in tweets that have since been deleted. It's unclear if HBO will look to cancel The Deuce in light of these accusations, but The New York Times has canceled an event with Franco as a result. These statements from David Simon and Cynthia Huffman, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, do paint a very different picture of the 39-year-old Hollywood figure.