As expected, accusations of sexual harassment continue to be revealed in Hollywood. The most recent figures to be accused are James Franco and Stan Lee.
Just two days after winning Best Actor at the 75th Golden Globes for his performance in The Disaster Artist, James Franco has found himself at the centre of another sexual harassment controversy. In 2014, Franco found himself in a similar situation, when it was reported that he apparently tried to hook up with a teenager on Instagram. The (then 35 year old) actor did admit that this had occurred whilst appearing on Live With Kelly and Michael. His defence was “bad judgement” and that he was “…just a model of how social media is tricky”.
At the time the whole affair did come across as seedy to say the least, but did just sort of go away after a little while. With Hollywood finally taking accusations of this nature seriously though, it’s unlikely this episode will be so quickly forgotten, especially as this years Golden Globes were so centred around the Time’s Up movement.
On Twitter, Actress Ally Sheedy, who appeared in Franco’s 2014 off-Broadway play, The Long Shrift, asked why he was allowed at the Golden Globes. “James Franco just won. Please never ever ask me why I left the film/tv business,” she wrote. The Breakfast Club star insinuated it was hypocritical of the 39-year-old actor to wear a Time’s Up button on his all-black ensemble, but she deleted her tweets shortly after posting them. Sheedy wasn’t alone though, as another woman, Violet Paley, also tweeted a story alleging Franco assaulted her.
Cute #TIMESUP pin James Franco. Remember the time you pushed my head down in a car towards your exposed penis & that other time you told my friend to come to your hotel when she was 17? After you had already been caught doing that to a different 17 year old?
— Violet Paley (@VioletPaley) January 8, 2018
Like in 2014, Franco addressed the accusations in a television interview, appearing on Late Night with Stephen Colbert. However this time he denied the reports, although admitted he hadn’t read the allegations, saying “There were some things on Twitter, I haven’t read them. I’ve heard about them”. Adding “The things I heard are not accurate, but I completely support people coming out because they didn’t have a voice for so long. I don’t want to shut them down in anyway. I think its a good thing and I support it.”
Since his appearance on the show The New York Times has cancelled a scheduled talk by Franco, and Paley has said she will be releasing further details of her allegations, tweeting “There are a lot more details that will be out soon. Working with people to do it in the best, safest way.”
Perhaps more surprising than the accusations of Franco, are those of veteran Marvel comics creator Stan Lee, who has been accused of groping and harassing nurses who cared for him in his home.
It’s alleged the 95-year-old asked the nurses for “oral sex in the shower” and “to be pleasured in the bedroom”, according to a report from the Daily Mail. It’s worth noting that the Mail is regarded by many as nothing more than tabloid nonsense, although apparently a rep for the nursing home has confirmed that it’s owner had received complaints from nurses about Lee’s behaviour, and that the company parted ways with the comics creator at the end of last year.
Lee’s lawyer, Tom Lallas, said the comics creator denied the “false and despicable” claims, adding “Mr Lee has received demands to pay money and threats that if he does not do so, the accuser will go to the media. Mr Lee will not be extorted or blackmailed, and will pay no money to anyone because he has done absolutely nothing wrong.”
Both of these stories will likely be ongoing, so we’ll keep you posted on any developments.