HBO Is Bringing Back James Franco for ‘The Deuce’ Season 2 Despite Sexual Misconduct Allegations

James Franco in 'The Deuce.'
James Franco in 'The Deuce.' Paul Schiraldi/HBO

The show must go on. James Franco will “of course” be part of season 2 of HBO’s The Deuce, the drama about New York City’s porn industry in the ‘70s, writer Megan Abbot told reporters at the Writers Guild Awards on Sunday, February 11.

In an exposé published on January 11, five women told their stories about Franco to the Los Angeles Times, accusing the actor, 39, of inappropriate or exploitative behavior. Four of the five women were former students at his film school Studio 4. One woman claimed that he forced her into performing oral sex on him while they were in a relationship.

James Franco in 'The Deuce.'
James Franco in ‘The Deuce.’ Paul Schiraldi/HBO

He has 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 last month. “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.”

Following the allegations, The Deuce’s cocreator and executive producer David Simon said that there were never any incidents on set. “I’m still reading it the same as everyone else, trying to discern what is or isn’t there,” Simon told Variety in January. “Personally I can only speak knowledgeably to The Deuce. I’ve checked with all my fellow producers and other personnel. 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. In our experience, he was entirely professional as an actor, director, and producer.”

The Deuce was already renewed for a second season, though filming on season 2 has yet to begin.

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