Seth Rogen is done with James Franco.
This is BIG news. Franco, who was already on the outs with a lot of people when he made “The Disaster Artist,” still had Rogen in his corner. They’d met during “Freaks and Geeks,” and Franco had revived their friendship as a way to keep a revenue stream alive while he made his weird, costly, indie films that flopped.
But then the allegations and accusations about Franco and sexual misbehavior were starting to mount. Franco has been sued by ex students, and railed against in public by young actresses on a variety of unsavory issues. And that’s all pretty ironic considering Franco was cultivating a kind of gender bender semi-gay gestalt to his audience.
Was he doing it to seem harmless to women while secretly on the prowl?
Now Rogen tells the Sunday London Times their relationship kaput. Rogen says: “I don’t know if I can define [our personal relationship] right now during this interview. I can say it, um, you know, it has changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic.”
“What I can say is that I despise abuse and harassment and I would never cover or conceal the actions of someone doing it, or knowingly put someone in a situation where they were around someone like that,” Rogen said.
He added, “However, I do look back at a joke I made on Saturday Night Live in 2014 and I very much regret making that joke. It was a terrible joke, honestly. And I also look back to that interview in 2018 where I comment that I would keep working with James, and the truth is that I have not and I do not plan to right now.” In the SNL episode, Franco DMs a 17-year-old British schoolgirl and asks for her number.
What seemed amusing then is not now in the new world order.
What pushed Rogen was an accusation from actress Charlayne Yi that she tried to leave “The Disaster Artist” during the shoot because of mistreatment. She says she was offered a bribe to stay, and that Rogen was in on it.
Rogen tells the Times: “What I can say is that I despise abuse and harassment and I would never cover or conceal the actions of someone doing it, or knowingly put someone in a situation where they were around someone like that.”
After “Freaks and Geeks,” Franco drifted away from the Rogen-Judd Apatow axis. But he returned in 2008 on “Pineapple Express” and continued to work in that world on the stoner comedy “Your Honor,” on Rogen’s North Korea comedy that blew up in everyone’s faces, “The Interview,” plus was a voice in “Sausage Party” and participated in “This is the End.”
“The Disaster Artist,” on which Rogen served a producer, was the breaking point. In the intervening years between this film and “The Interview,” Franco had gone full throttle into giving acting classes, getting college degrees,and making movies no one wanted to see. He was fully immersed in his own myth. He’d disappeared right up his own ass. (Let’s not forget when he “remade” episodes of the sitcom “Three’s Company’ and showed them on video screens at Sundance.)
So now Rogen is gone. Apatow, who takes very public positions in favor of women’s rights in Hollywood, has to be out, too. Where does that leave Franco? He’s still dealing with a lawsuit. And even if he settles with all his accusers, how he’ll resume his career is a mystery.