Just hours after James Franco had a super awkward late-night interview with Seth Meyers, five women have come forward to accuse the Golden Globe-winning actor of sexual misconduct and sexually exploitative behavior.
Franco, who was slammed as a “hypocrite” by several women on social media for wearing a Time’s Up pin in support of victims of sexual harassment and abuse during Sunday’s Golden Globes ceremony, might be watching his Hollywood career fade away as sexual misconduct allegations against The Disaster Artist actor keep mounting.
On Thursday morning, the Los Angeles Times published a bombshell report citing five women who have previously worked with Franco. The women, four of whom were his students, accused the 39-year-old actor of sexually inappropriate and exploitative behavior.
The four former students attended Franco’s Los Angeles acting school Studio 4, which closed its doors permanently in October without explanation in the wake of Hollywood’s sexual harassment scandal.
One of the students, Sarah Tither-Kaplan, detailed how she was cast as a prostitute in Franco’s The Long Home, set to be released later this year. Tither-Kaplan and other women were allegedly asked to film in a “bonus scene” of an orgy, in which Franco would mimic performing oral sex on the women.
While the women initially agreed to have their private parts covered with the plastic guard during the shooting, Franco allegedly removed the guards covering their vaginas to simulate oral sex. Tither-Kaplan explained that she could not say “No” to the actor.
“I got it in my head pretty quickly that, OK, you don’t say ‘no’ to this guy,” the aspiring actress told the publication.
Before launching Studio 4, Franco worked as an acting teacher at Playhouse West. Two women cited by the Times, Hilary Dusome and Natalie Chmiel, recalled a time when Franco turned violent and hostile during a shoot at a strip club.
According to the women, Franco approached the actresses, who wore masks and lingerie, and asked if any of them would take their shirts off. After the actor realized that no one was willing to expose their breasts, he “stormed off.” The women described him as “visibly angry.”
Another student of Franco’s Studio 4, Katie Ryan, recalled how the actor would let his students know that performing sexual acts and shooting naked scenes would help them land roles. Ryan also alleged that The Disaster Artist actor would repeatedly send out mass emails to his students informing them of auditions for prostitute roles.
The fifth woman cited in the report, Violet Paley, a filmmaker, met with Franco after he insisted that he wanted to give her notes on a script. When the two were alone sitting in her car, Franco allegedly forced her to perform oral sex on him.
“He was kind of nudging my head down, and I just didn’t want him to hate me, so I did it,” Paley recalled the alleged incident. The filmmaker said she told the actor that someone had spotted them in the car to cut the nonconsensual sex act short.
The women have come forward just days after Franco won the Best Actor Golden Globe award for his critically-acclaimed performance in The Disaster Artist. Franco was being positioned for a Best Actor Oscar campaign, and the film could be nominated in the Best Film category at the 90th Academy Awards, but the future of the film is now uncertain following the sexual misconduct allegations against Franco.
The Times report comes just hours after Franco’s super awkward interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers. During his appearance on the late-night talk show, Meyers pressured the actor to address the sexual misconduct allegations circulating on social media.
Franco was visibly uncomfortable while speaking, avoiding eye contact with the host, stuttering, dodging certain questions, and saying things that made little sense.