Monday, June 17, 2024

Disaster: James Franco’s Times Talk Cancelled as Accusations of Sexual Misconduct Heat Up on Social Media


Wednesday night’s live Times Talk with “Disaster Artist” star and director James Franco and his brother, actor Dave Franco, has been cancelled.

Franco just won a Golden Globe Award for playing off beat real life loser filmmaker Tommy Wiseau. On the Globes broadcast he brought Wiseau up on stage but then cut him off from speaking. That didn’t win him any new fans. I thought it was unsuual for Franco, who is usually very generous to other actors. But maybe he knew best in that situation.

Still, there have been rumors for weeks that Franco was going to be caught up in the recent tsunami of accusations against actors regarding sexual conduct. And sure enough, on Twitter during the Globes, actress Ally Sheedy Tweeted her surprise that Franco was being rewarded with a statue given his history. She deleted it, but enough people captured the comment to make noise.

And then within minutes another actress, Violet Paley, Tweeted “Cute TIMESUP pin James Franco. Remember the time you pushed my head down in a car towards your exposed penis & that other time you told my friend to come to your hotel when she was 17? After you had already been caught doing that to a different 17 year old?”

True or not, Paley’s Tweet instigated an avalanche of accusations. Now the Times Talk has been cancelled– a mistake, I fear, because it sends a signal of guilt. Of course, Franco does have one– just one– episode in his recent past in which he wound up texting an underage girl. He explained it by saying he obviously didn’t understand how old she was.

Unlike a lot of the alleged sexual predators of recent note, James Franco comes from a close knit, solid nuclear family. I actually knew his grandmother. His late father was a lovely guy who died much too young and suddenly from a widowmaker heart attack. His mother is a writer and very cool. So all of this seems hard to believe, and I guess we’ll have to see how it all plays out. It would be a real shame if a very good career was tarnished here for no reason.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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