James Franco was on Seth Meyers last night, one night after Stephen Colbert asked him about the allegations of sexual harassment that have come up again after his win at the Golden Globes. Seth also asked him about the accusations which, again, is certainly not the experience that Casey Affleck encountered last year.
James told Seth that he believes in Time’s Up. Because, as he explained, the movement is about giving voice to people who haven’t been heard. Which is interesting because when Seth followed up by asking him if he’s reached out to Ally Sheedy to talk to her about why she had such a negative takeaway after they worked together, James was like, uh no, I haven’t, I’m just gonna let it go. So when he says that he wants to give voice to people who haven’t been heard, does that mean he doesn’t have to listen?
He might not want to listen but other people are being heard. The LA Times just published a new report featuring the accounts of 5 women sharing their accounts of James’s “inappropriate or sexually exploitative behaviour”, including Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Violet Paley, both of whom were tweeting about the hypocrisy of celebrating James on Time’s Up Golden Globes night. Two student actresses, Hilary Dusome and Natalie Chmiel, shared that they felt pressure while working on scenes with James to expose their bodies in order to secure more acting opportunities. James’s legal team disputes the claims. You can read the full LA Times story here.
And remember, all this is happening during the voting period for Oscar nominations which ends tomorrow. The Oscar nominations will be announced on January 23. And, of course, life is more important than awards. But the reason why these awards are important right now is because it might give us some indication of how Hollywood, which, like it or not, can be a lens into greater social observations, handles the ongoing dilemma of separating art from the artist, and also its commitment to fostering an artistic workplace that truly encourages the development of artistic potential free from inequality in all forms.
To bring it back to James Franco though, near the end of his interview with Seth Meyers, he says that while he denies the allegations against him, he will “hold back things that (he) could say, because he believes in (Time’s UP) that much”. He continues, “If I have to take a knock because I’m not gonna, you know, try and, you know, actively refute things, then I will, because I believe in it that much”.
A heroic sacrifice, really.
Yours in gossip,