"The New York Times" has canceled an upcoming event with James Franco, and that's the right call
Just two days after James Franco took the 2018 Golden Globes stage to accept his Best Actor, Comedy or Musical trophy, allegations that he’s part of the #MeToo problem have gotten the actor booted from a planned event with The New York Times. James Franco and his brother Dave were scheduled to appear at a TimesTalks event in New York City on January 10th to discuss their movie The Disaster Artist. Late Tuesday, the paper backed out.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a rep from the Times confirmed they were canceling the talk because of what had been buzzing about Franco online in the past few days: “Given the controversy surrounding recent allegations, we’re no longer comfortable proceeding in that vein.”
At least three women seemed to accuse Franco of improper behavior in the wake of his Globes win over the weekend.
Actress Ally Sheedy made a vague reference to Franco maybe being the reason she left TV and movies in a series of now-deleted tweets; actress Violet Paley tweeted that Franco had once “pushed [her] head down in a car towards [his] exposed penis” and invited an underage friend of hers to his hotel room; and filmmaker Sarah Tither-Kaplan said Franco had used nude scenes in his movies to exploit her. Others brought up the 2014 story of Franco offering, via Instagram, to rent a hotel room for himself and a 17-year-old tourist.
Franco addressed the allegations — sort of — in an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert this week. He said he has “no idea what [he] did to Ally Sheedy,” and as far as the other accusations go, he said what he’d heard was online wasn’t true, though he supported people coming forward and “being able to have a voice.” He went on to offer a semi-nebulous comment about making amends (for what is still unclear) and wanting to be a good man.
Accusers online made a point to highlight the fact that Franco was sporting a #TimesUp pin on his lapel during his acceptance speech Sunday, which appeared at odds with his alleged past behavior. Franco, along with every other male winner at the ceremony, made no mention of the movement in his remarks.
It’s unclear at this point whether the Times event cancellation will signal the start of a bigger career crisis for Franco, but with the Oscars fast approaching and Franco a frontrunner for Best Actor yet again, we can be sure the conversation will continue in the coming weeks.