Actor James Franco found himself in the firing line following his Golden Globes win for The Disaster Artist. Sexual assault allegations were made against the actor online, with many claiming hypocrisy on his part.
Allegations Cast A Shadow
Like many other actors present that night, Franco appeared with a TIME'S UP pin prouldy displayed on his lapel. The pin, created to show support for the legal defense fund created in the wake of rampant sexual assault allegations across all industries, doesn't chime with Franco's past behavior.
Twitter commenters pointed to his hypocrisy following a much-publicized dalliance with an underage girl just a few years ago.
More worryingly, The Breakfast Club's Ally Sheedy suggested, in a series of since-deleted Tweets, that she'd left the business altogether after working with Franco.
He directed her in an Off-Broadway production of The Long Shrift. However, her Tweets did not suggest a connection to that experience.
Another actor, Violet Paley, subsequently chimed in to accuse Franco of sexually assaulting her and trying to lure her then 17-year-old friend to his hotel room.
The recently resurfaced allegations caught the attention of The New York Times, who canceled an upcoming event with the actor. A statement was released claiming they were no longer comfortable working with him as a result of recent revelations.
Clearing His Name
Appearing on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night, Franco took the opportunity to tackle the accusations directly. Speaking to Colbert, Franco first doubled down on his support of TIME'S UP.
He then claimed not to have read what was being said on Twitter but said he had no idea what he's done to Ally Sheedy in particular. Franco said the two had a great time together working on The Long Shrift and that he has "total respect" for her.
Although he claimed to always take responsibility for his actions, Franco also made sure to state emphatically that the accusations are "not accurate."
He promised to make restitution, to fix things, if necessary, and to change his perspective "where it's off."
Although his heart is probably in the right place, this lukewarm response will be small respite to those who feel Franco had no business being up there with that pin on his jacket.
Franco's next appearance will be on Late Night With Seth Meyers. He's currently doing press in support of his Golden Globes Best Actor win for The Disaster Artist.