While walking the red carpet and while onstage accepting his Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical, James Franco was spotted wearing a Time’s Up lapel pin in solidarity with the women-led movement aiming to end gender inequality inside Hollywood and beyond.
While some, like Alexander Skårsgard, have been called out for refusing to discuss gender-based violence at the awards, and Justin Timberlake is under the microscope for publicly supporting the movement even though he recently worked with accused child abuser Woody Allen, Franco’s donning of the pin is bringing old allegations to light.
Immediately after his win, actress Ally Sheedy tweeted, and then deleted, a few posts cryptically calling Franco out. “James Franco just won,” she said. “Please never ever ask me why I left the business.”
Sheedy starred off-Broadway in a Franco-directed production in 2014. Although she has yet to elaborate on what she meant, that year, Franco was busted having a questionable Instagram exchange with an underage teen.
Screencaps show the then-35-year-old actor trying to set up a secret hotel rendezvous with a then-17-year-old Scottish tourist named Lucy Clode. After the screenshots of his conversation with the teen leaked, Franco joked on Instagram, saying, “I HOPE PARENTS KEEP THEIR TEENS AWAY FROM ME. Thank you” (the post has been deleted from both his Instagram and Twitter feeds).
After the screenshots were released, Franco appeared on Live! With Kelly and Michael, excusing his behavior, saying, “I’m embarrassed, and I guess I’m just a model of how social media is tricky. It’s a way people meet each other today, but what I’ve learned is you don’t know who’s on the other end. I used bad judgement and I learned my lesson.”
Clode isn’t the only teen who has accused the star of misconduct. Actress Violet Paley tweeted after the Pineapple Express star’s win Sunday, “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?”
Franco tried to brush off allegations, blaming the teens he meets in an interview with satellite radio host Howard Stern, telling former shock-jock, “17 is legal in New York, but that being said, it’s still pretty damn young. They make it out like I’m pursuing young women. I’m not going to high schools looking for dates. I’m leaving my work and they’re coming there. So, I’m seeing attractive women.”
With a changing tide in Hollywood, past allegations will continue to get new light, but how each star responds to these accusations will be the real test. For now, Franco has not commented on these resurfaced allegations.
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(Photo via Frederick M. Brown/Getty)