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Maggie Gyllenhaal Reveals Why She Kept James Franco on ‘The Deuce’ After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

The show must go on. Maggie Gyllenhaal opened up on why she allowed James Franco to continue starring on The Deuce after he was accused of sexual misconduct.

Maggie Gyllenhaal
Maggie Gyllenhaal Paul Schiraldi/HBO

Related: Hollywood’s Sexual Misconduct Scandals

During an appearance on SiriusXM’s Sway In The Morning on Tuesday, October, 9, the actress, who is one of the drama’s producers, explained how she coped with working with the actor after he made headlines in January 2018 for allegedly assaulting five women.

“As a producer … although I think I would have felt similarly as an actor, but I felt it was my responsibility to do the opposite of ignore it. You know? We, at the time that the accusations against James came out in The New York Times, we read them all. We took them very seriously,” she told host Sway Calloway. “We spoke to every woman on the crew and in the cast to find out if they felt respected and what their experience of working with James was, and everyone had said that they felt totally respected by him.”

Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco on 'The Deuce'
Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco on ‘The Deuce’ Paul Schiraldi/HBO

“And you know, for me, I would say another thing that was really important is that our show is about … misogyny. It’s about transactional sex. It’s about inequality in the entertainment business. You couldn’t be more at the center of that conversation than The Deuce. And to me, I thought, ‘I want to keep telling this story. I want to keep playing Candy and going deep into like, really what it’s like from a woman’s perspective to be dealing with all of the stuff that is on everyone’s minds right now. I want to put it on TV. I want people to see, like, straight up, look at the woman’s face who just got asked to give a b—wjob for money, like, ‘here it is,’you know?” continued Gyllenhaal, 40. “I would have been so sorry not to be able to keep doing that.”

Related: The Most Powerful Statements by Women About Sexual Harassment

HBO announced that the 40-year-old actor, who plays Vincent and Frankie Martino, would be joining The Deuce for the show’s second season in February despite the allegations made against him. “Personally I can only speak knowledgeably to The Deuce. We have no complainant or complaint or any awareness of any incident of concern involving Mr. Franco. Nor has HBO been approached with any complaint,” the show’s cocreator and executive producer David Simon told Variety at the time. “In our experience, he was entirely professional as an actor, director, and producer.”

Franco disputed all allegations made against him. “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,” he told Seth Meyers in January. “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.”

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Busy Philipps — who starred alongside Franco on Freaks & Geeks — recently made headlines after claiming her former costar assaulted her while they were filming the show. In her new memoir This Will Only Hurt a Little, she alleged that Franco threw her to the ground while on set after they filmed a scene together. However, she clarified her comments on Tuesday, October 9, on Instagram, writing, “The Franco story is used to illustrate a larger point about the way women are treated in this business in life. … It’s a story that I have been telling for years. James apologized. I accepted. And I still get to tell it because it f–king happened to me.”

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