James Franco wore a Time's Up pin while he accepted the Golden Globe award for Best Actor late last week, so women began to speak up about his sexual inappropriate behavior on Twitter. Breakfast Club star Ally Sheedy was one of the women to first question why Franco won an award, but was cryptic in her since deleted tweets. Aspiring filmmaker Violet Paley then came forward and accused James Franco of sexual misconduct, as well as actress Sarah Tither-Kaplan. Now, in a new Los Angeles Times article, more women have come forward to accuse the 39-year old actor of sexual misconduct and abuse of power.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan is one of five women who, in interviews with The Los Angeles Times, accused James Franco of behavior they found to be inappropriate or sexually exploitative. Four were his students, and another said he was her mentor. In some cases, they said they believed Franco could offer them career advancement, and acquiesced to his wishes even when they were uncomfortable and felt like he was abusing his power. Tither-Kaplan, who took acting lessons from Franco, believes that it was an abuse of power and thought that his use of the Time's Up pin was a "slap in the face." She revealed in the Times article that in an orgy scene 3 years ago, the actor took the protective plastic guards from the actresses' genitals while simulating oral sex.
Hilary Dusome, who took a class from Franco in 2012, said that at first, she found him to be "a really generous spirit" and eager to help aspiring actors. However, her feelings later shifted after she was selected to appear, along with other female students, in one of Franco's "art films." Dusome and fellow student Natalie Chmiel were led to believe that the footage was going to be used for a commercial at a later time. The scenes took place in a strip club and featured the women wearing lingerie, which James Franco then asked the students to take off. None of the actresses volunteered to get naked, angering the Franco. Chmiel says that she believes Franco was taking advantage of their "eagerness" to work. Hilary Dusome had this to say about the situation.
"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. 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."
It was promoted in James Franco's Studio 4 classes that he would train actors and then give them parts in his projects. As it turns out, things didn't really work out that way unless students were able to offer something in return. Katie Ryan, who also took several classes with James Franco explains.
"He would always make everybody think there were possible roles on the table if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts."
Ryan also said that she was offered roles as hookers and strippers for years after taking classes at Franco's Studio 4. James Franco's attorney has denied all of the allegations. James Franco has been on late night television throughout the week, which should have seen him celebrating his Golden Globe win and promoting The Disaster Artist, but it didn't go as the actor planned. Instead, Franco has gone on to address the accusations saying that he believes in the Time's Up movement, but that he finds some of the accusations to be untrue. The actor had this to say.
"I have my own side of this story but I believe in these people that have been underrepresented getting their stories out enough that I will hold back things that I could say just because I believe in it that much. If I have to take a knock because I am not going to try and actively refute things then I will, because I believe in it that much."
It is not clear at this time just how these new accusations will affect James Franco's career. The New York Times cancelled an event with the actor earlier this week because of the accusations. You can read more about the accusations of sexual misconduct leveled at James Franco via The Los Angeles Times.