When James Franco hit the stage at the Golden Globes on Sunday after winning for his performance in The Disaster Artist, Twitter lit up for a couple reasons. First, people said he was a jerk for not letting Tommy Wiseau, the inspiration for the film, speak and second, Ally Sheedy made some comments that made everyone’s ears perk up.
Sheedy, who is best known for her role in The Breakfast Club, alluded to the fact that Franco may have sexually assaulted her but she later deleted the tweets. During an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers and the Tonight Show with Stephen Colbert, he denied any wrongdoing and said he was confused by the whole thing.
Well, now that five women (including former students) have accused him of sexual inappropriateness, he may have to do more than claim confusion.
In an article published by the Los Angeles Times, Franco’s accusers say he abused his power as a mentor and acting teacher and his film school. How far did things go?
According to former student, Sarah Tither-Kaplan, Franco once removed genital guards while filming an oral sex scene on the set of the 2015 film The Long Home. “I got it in my head pretty quickly that, OK, you don’t say ‘no’ to this guy. I feel there was an abuse of power, and there was a culture of exploiting non-celebrity women, and a culture of women being replaceable.”
Removing the safety guards protecting a woman’s genitals is… interesting. What else did he allegedly do? Two other students claim he insisted they film topless. If they didn’t comply, he got angry.
Hilary Dusome, claimed the actor created a hostile environment in class and on-set and would ask her to go topless. “I felt like I was selected for something based on my hard work and my merit, and when I realized it was because I have nice [breasts], it was pretty clear that was not the case,” Dusome said. “I don’t think he started teaching with bad intentions, but he went down a bad path and damaged a lot of people in the process.”
Another student, Katie Ryan claimed Franco “would always make everybody think there were possible roles on the table if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts.”
On Colbert’s couch, before these accusations were made public, Franco said: “If I have done something wrong. I will fix it — I have to.”
The ball’s in his court now.