February 19, 2018 / 12:50 AM

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James Franco Accusers Detail The Actor’s Sexual Misconduct In First Televised Interview

 

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Following the explosive accusations that tainted James Franco's big Golden Globes moment, two of his accusers have spoken out in a televised interview for the first time.

The women, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Violet Paley, who are both ex-students of Franco's acting school, appeared on Good Morning America on Tuesday. They'd previously discussed their claims with the Los Angeles Times in a tell-all interview.

Speaking to ABC's Amy Robach, just moments after the 2018 Oscar nominations landed and the world learned Franco wasn't up for a Best Actor gong as anticipated, they discussed their checkered history with him.

Tither-Kaplan explained how she's wanted to be a part of the industry since she was a little girl. She added how she understands that she may be risking her career by speaking out about her experiences now.

However, considering how inappropriately she believes Franco behaved, and given the current wave of sexual assault allegations across Hollywood, she feels the time is now. Tither-Kaplan described in detail the difficult atmosphere cultivated by Franco during acting classes at the film school he founded.

"He created exploitative environments for non-celebrity women on his sets," she said, adding that he is still a valuable person.

The two students claimed Franco often got visibly annoyed on set if students refused to go topless or engage in sex scenes that were previously not scripted and felt "gratuitous or exploitative" to those taking part. Tither-Kaplan further revealed that Franco even once removed safety guards during the filming of an oral sex scene in his movie The Long Home.

Moreover, she was quick to establish what Franco is most guilty of.

"It's a pyramid, and at the top is rape and sexual violence, and at the bottom are the other abuses of power that, when they continue to happen over and over, build and build and build and create a culture that allows the most heinous examples of sexual violence and misogyny and discrimination to happen," said Tither-Kaplan.

She made the connection between Franco's abuse of power and everything else going on behind the scenes. She added that if women allow any of them, they're allowing all of them.

Paley, who admitted to once being in a romantic and consensual relationship with Franco, told Robach that she looked up to the actor and now regrets her continued contact with him. Paley alleged that Franco tried to force her to perform a sex act on him in a car at one point. She also claimed that Franco attempted to meet her underage friend in a hotel room.

In response to the accusations, Franco appeared earlier on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to clear his name. He told Colbert that these things floating around on Twitter (as they were at the time) were simply not accurate. Franco went on to say he supported people coming forward.

Franco was called out on social media midway through his Golden Globes acceptance speech for the Time's Up pin on his lapel. Many found this as a sign of hypocrisy on his part, especially Paley.

Actress Scarlett Johannson subsequently gave a rousing speech at the recent women's march in L.A., where she told Franco straight up that she wanted her pin back.

So far, representatives of Franco have disputed any and all allegations made against him. As for how the actor himself could atone for his crimes, Tither-Kaplan and Paley suggest he isn't an unforgivable person and that he could perhaps use his power to give more opportunities to talented women.

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