For the second day in a row, James Franco faced uncomfortable questions on a late-night talk show.
On Wednesday, Franco appeared on NBC’s “Late Night With Seth Meyers” to promote his movie “The Disaster Artist.” Meyers started the interview by saying that Franco received criticism and calls of hypocrisy Sunday, when he appeared at the Golden Globe Awards and wore a pin to support the new Time’s Up initiative, a legal fund to fight sexual harassment.
“Cute #TIMESUP pin James Franco,” actress Violet Paley tweeted, alleging that Franco exposed himself to her, and invited her 17-year-old friend to his hotel room. Actress Sarah Tither-Kaplan tweeted, “Hey James Franco, nice #timesup pin” and wrote that Franco had her film “exploitative” nude scenes in two movies. Franco rebutted the allegations and responded in much the same way as when the subject came up on Tuesday night’s “Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”
“The [tweets] I read were not accurate. But one of the things that I’ve learned is that this is a conversation that obviously needs to be had,” Franco said. “There are people, women and others, who have not been a part of this conversation. And I truly believe — and why I was wearing the pin is that they need to be a part of this conversation, and so I support that.”
Meyers reminded Franco of the other widely circulated tweets Sunday night from “Breakfast Club” actress Ally Sheedy, whom Franco directed in an off-Broadway play in 2014. During the Globes, after Franco received the best actor in a comedy trophy for “The Disaster Artist,” Sheedy tweeted, “James Franco just won. Please never ever ask me why I left the film/tv business.” She also wrote, “Why is a man hosting? Why is James Franco allowed in? Said too much. Nite love ya #goldenglobes.” Sheedy later deleted her tweets.
“I heard you mention last night on Stephen Colbert’s show that you had directed her in a play. You’ve had a good experience with her,” Meyers said. “Have you reached out to her … and are you not curious as to why she would do that if you had, from your perspective, a good relationship with her?”
“Yes, I had a great — I had a great relationship with her,” Franco responded. “She took the tweet down. I don’t know. I really don’t.”
“Not curious enough though to reach out to her as someone that you’ve had a good relationship with before, and to try to understand why she would have done that?” Meyers pressed.
Franco paused. “I don’t know,” he said. “It was so shocking. I don’t know. I just — I guess I’m just letting it be.”
Meyers then questioned Franco about the current climate of reckoning about sexual harassment. “Does this Time’s Up movement and this moment we’re having right now, does it make you look back at all and question any of your behavior in the past based on this new perspective we’re getting on how women have perceived things for so long?” Meyers asked.
Franco said that being at the Globes was a very powerful experience and that “there are stories that need to get out” and “people that need to be heard.”
“I have my own side of this story, but I believe in, you know, these people that have been underrepresented getting their stories out enough that I will, you know, hold back things that I could say just because I believe in it that much,” Franco said. “And if I have to take a knock because I’m not going to, you know, try and, you know, actively refute things, then I will, because I believe in it that much.”