Film

Stephen Colbert Confronted James Franco Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Franco called the allegations "not accurate".

Actor and filmmaker James Franco has denied allegations of sexual misconduct, after being asked about the issue by talk show host Stephen Colbert during an uncomfortable exchange on The Late Show.

Over the weekend, Franco won a Golden Globe for his lead performance in The Disaster Artist, a film which he also directed. But the 39-year-old was also criticised for wearing a Time’s Up pin in solidarity with victims of sexual misconduct, with several women coming forward on Twitter to accuse him of just that.

After confirming that they had already discussed the issue backstage, Colbert asked Franco if he understood why he had been criticised for wearing the pin, and if he had anything he wanted to say.

Franco responded by saying he supported the Time’s Up movement, before claiming the things being said about him were “not accurate”.

“There were some things on Twitter. I haven’t read them, I’ve heard about them,” said Franco. “In my life, I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I’ve done. I have to do that to maintain my wellbeing. I do it whenever I know there’s something wrong or that needs to be changed.”

“The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate,” he continued. “But I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice, because they didn’t have a voice for so long. I don’t want to shut them down in any way.”

Of the accusations that have been leveled against Franco, the most serious are those by actress Violet Paley, who tweeted that the actor assaulted her in a car by attempting to push her head down “towards [his] exposed penis”. She also alleges that he tried to convince her 17-year-old friend to come to his hotel room, adding that there were “a lot more details that will be out soon”.

Actress and filmmaker Sarah Tither-Kaplan also came forward, claiming that Franco had pressured her into doing a nude scene in two of his movies, and that she felt unable to say no.

Finally, actress Ally Sheedy, who worked with Franco on an off-Broadway play in 2014, issued a series of cryptic tweets that have since been deleted. “James Franco just won. Please never ever ask me why I left the film/tv business,” she wrote during the Golden Globes broadcast. “Why is a man hosting? Why is James Franco allowed in? Said too much.”

Franco did address Sheedy’s comments specifically, insisting that he had “no idea” what he did to her.

“I directed her in a play off Broadway,” he said. “I had nothing but a great time with her. Total respect for her. I have no idea why she was upset. She took the tweets down. I don’t know. I can’t speak for her.”

Franco’s behaviour with women was previously called into question back in 2014, when he allegedly attempted to hook up with a 17-year-old girl via Instagram. He later said he was “embarrassed” by the incident, adding “I guess I’m just a model of how social media is tricky.”

You can watch the full exchange with Colbert below.