In light of accusations by former students against actor James Franco, Vanity Fair has digitally removed the actor from their multi-panel cover photo for their annual ‘Hollywood’ issue, saying that the allegations were the only reason they removed their former cover star.
The VF cover, which has caused some laughs due to the accidental Photoshopping of a supposed third leg on Reese Witherspoon, and an extra hand for Oprah Winfrey could have looked very different, but the mag’s soon-to-retire editor, Graydon Carter stepped in and removed Franco from the fold-out spread.
“We made a decision not to include James Franco on the Hollywood cover once we learned of the misconduct allegations against him,” a spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter, although it’s unclear exactly when the decision was made. Although there have been rumors of Franco’s impropriety in the past, his win for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for his role as cult favorite Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist, reignited the spotlight to his alleged previous behavior.
Students of the actor from his days at Playhouse West (pre Studio 4) told The LA Times earlier this month that the actor inappropriate while employed at their school. Hilary Dusome and Natalie Chmiel said that when Franco approached them to film some scenes with him, saying that the footage would be used in a 7 For All Mankind commercial, the aspiring actors agreed. But, the two women say what happened next was a “hostile and unprofessional” video shoot at an LA strip club, where they were made to feel that if they did not comply with Franco, they would have to deal with his rage and lose out on potential further work.
“I feel there was an abuse of power, and there was a culture of exploiting non-celebrity women, and a culture of women being replaceable,” Sarah Tither-Kaplan, another former student, told The Times. Franco was also accused of hitting on a 17-year-old visiting from Scotland back in 2014, which he has jokingly shrugged off in the past.
Although the 39-year-old actor has yet to fully respond, he told Stephen Colbert almost immediately after accusations resurfaced that he was not guilty of what was being accused of him. The Freaks and Geeks star has not responded to VF or made any further statements since his appearance on Colbert’s show.
What do you think of Vanity Fair’s decision? Let us know @BritandCo!
(photo via Fredrick M. Brown/Getty)