James Franco Accusers Open Up: He’s Not as Bad as Harvey Weinstein

On Tuesday, the 2018 Academy Award nominations were accounced, and the list of honorees contained several surprises.

Perhaps the most noteworthy snub was that of James Franco.

Following wins at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards, Franco was considered the frontrunner in the Best Actor category, and many stunned when he didn’t even receive a nomination.

Due to the secret nature of the nomination process, we may never know exactly why he didn’t receive more votes from his peers.

It’s worth noting that the Academy is generally less accepting of comedies than other award-granting bodies, and controversy over filmmaker Tommy Wiseau whom Franco portrays in The Disaster Artist may have also been a factor.

But the consensus in Hollywood is that it was the sexual harassment allegations against Franco that caused Academy voters to balk at honoring the actor with a nomination.

As you may have heard, when Franco won the Golden Globe for Best Actor, actress Ally Sheedy posted several tweets suggesting that he behaved inappropriately while directing her in an Off-Broadway play.

Shortly thereafter, several other women came forward to accuse Franco, eventually bringing the total number to five.

Yesterday, two of those women appeared on Good Morning America to discuss their experiences with Franco, 

Sarah Tither-Kaplan was a student in Franco’s “Sex Scenes” actng class 

Violet Paley is a former girlfriend of Franco’s who says she felt coerced into performing oral sex on her first date with the actor.

Both women opened up about their individual experiences in a remarkably candid interview:

“James abused his power by exploiting the non-celebrity women that he worked with under the guise of giving them opportunities,” Tither-Kaplan said.

She added that she felt pressured to perform nude while appearing in a film directed by Franco:

“There were a lot of scenes that were added after we were given the original scripts that I felt I wished I had more time to consider them or understand the artistic value of them…sex scenes, nude scenes, yes, a lot of the time they seemed gratuitous and exploitative.”

But while she maitained that Franco abused his power over young women, she also concedesd that his misconduct is not nearly as egregious as that of disgraced studio head Harvey Weinstein.

“He’s absolutely not a Harvey Weinstein,” Tither-Kaplan said.

“He is not an unfeeling monster who has no sense of reality. He created exploitative environments for non-celebrity women on his sets and I also think James is a talented and valuable person.”

Tither-Kaplan elaborated:

“It is a pyramid and at the top is rape and sexual violence and at the bottom are the other abuses of power that when they continue to happen over and over build and build and build and create a culture that allows the most heinous examples of sexual violence and misogny and discrimination to happen and if we allow any of them, we’re allowing all of them.”

For her part, Paley says her story is “complicated” by the fact that she later entered a relationship with Franco, but maintains that she was pressured into performing a sex act with which she didn’t feel comfortable during one of their first interactions.

“I am regretful. I was young, he was a celebrity that I looked up to,” Paley says.

Both women agreed that Franco is “not unforgivable,” and made a simple request to the 39-year-old during their time on air:

“Please just apologize,” Paley said, addressing Franco.

We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.


This Was Awkward: Alison Brie is Asked About James Franco…

Alison Brie could not fully celebrate her achievements at the 2018 SAG Awards on Sunday night.

The actress was nominated for her fantastic role in the Netflix series GLOW, while the comedy itself was nominated as well for a cast ensemble award.

But Brie was forced to address a certain controversy surrounding her family before she entered the Shrine Auditorium.

As you've likely read about by now, James Franco has been accused of sexual misconduct by five different women.

In one instance, an alleged victim claims Franco pulled his penis out in front of her; in another, an alleged victim claims he removed the cloth over her vagina for an oral sex scene that was being filmed.

Pretty heinous stuff, if true.

Brie, meanwhile, is married to Franco's brother, Dave.

So she has a personal stake in this scandal.

Therefore, E!'s Giuliana Rancic simply had to ask the actress for her thoughts on the SAG Awards red carpet.

“What we’ve always said is that it remains vital that anyone who feels victimized should and does have the right to speak out and come forward,” replied Brie, adding:

 “I obviously support my family and not everything that’s been reported is fully accurate, so I think we’re waiting to get all the information.

"But, of course, now is a time for listening and that’s what we’re all trying to do.”

Franco is reportedly in a very bad place as a result of these accusations.

But not many people out there have sympathy for him.

At the Women's March over the weekend, for example, Scarlett Johansson went right after her fellow A-Lister.

"My mind baffles – how could a person publicly stand by an organization that helps to provide support for victims of sexual assault while privately preying on people who have no power," the star said at a podium in Los Angeles, concluding with anger:

"I want my pin back by the way."

Her rep later confirmed that Johansson was talking about Franco.

The actor's lawyer has denied all accusations against his client.

But it's safe to assume this story is not going away any time soon.

Click on the video below to see Brie's full answer, which begins around the 90-second mark.

Alison brie addresses james franco sexual misconduct allegations

SAG Awards 2018 Behind the Scenes, First-Ever Host, Colorful Dresses and James Franco

The 24th annual SAG Awards was a mixed bag — with the Time’s Up movement as a backdrop … there were some things (and people) we didn’t expect to see.  For starters … Kristen Bell served as the award show’s first-ever host — and she…