While the 39-year-old actor was snubbed by the Academy, The Disaster Artist did score a nod for Best Adapted Screenplay. It is up against Call Me by Your Name, Logan, Molly’s Game and Mudbound. The best actor nominees are Timothée Chalamet, Daniel Day-Lewis, Daniel Kaluuya, Gary Oldman and Denzel Washington. Prior to the allegations, Franco won Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice awards for his performance in the biographical dramedy, which chronicles the making of Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 cult film The Room.
In a Los Angeles Times story published on January 11, five women accused Franco of inappropriate or sexually exploitative behavior. Four of them were former students at his Hollywood film school Studio 4. One of the women claimed Franco once removed safety guards while filming an oral sex scene on the set of the yet-to-be-released film The Long Home, while another alleged that he pressured her into performing oral sex on him while they were in a consensual relationship. The report was published a few days after several other women took to Twitter during the Golden Globes to accuse Franco of misconduct.
The Deuce star’s attorney disputed all of the allegations, while Franco himself spoke out on two late-night shows. He told Stephen Colbert on January 9 that the Twitter claims were “not accurate.” Two days later, he told Seth Meyers, “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 that much. If I have to take a knock because I’m not going to try and actively refute things, then I will, because I believe in it that much.”
Amid the scandal, Franco quietly attended the SAG Awards on Sunday, January 21, but he lost in the best actor category to Darkest Hour’s Oldman.
As the Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday, January 23, two of the Pineapple Express actor’s accusers spoke out again on Good Morning America. “James is absolutely not a Harvey Weinstein. He is not an unfeeling monster who has no sense of reality,” Sarah Tither-Kaplan told Amy Robach. Meanwhile, Violet Paley said there are “a lot of things” she wants to say to Franco, specifically, “Please just apologize.”
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