The physical manifestation of a wink from a drunk at a bar, James Franco, and his brother Dave Franco, were scheduled to give a talk tonight in association with The New York Times about their new film The Disaster Artist. But James and Dave’s TimesTalk isn’t happening, and it’s not because James is still fighting with Tommy Wiseau over control of the mic.
On the same night James won a Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, Ally Sheedy lit up social media with heavy implications that he did something to make her leave the movie business. That was followed by actresses and former students of James’ sharing their own stories about him. Because of those stories, The Times decided to cancel his Times Talk. They released a statement to Variety:
“The event was intended to be a discussion of the making of the film, The Disaster Artist. Given the controversy surrounding recent allegations, we’re no longer comfortable proceeding in that vein.”
It’s too bad The Times cancelled James and Dave’s talk, because I’m sure James would have loved the opportunity to do some damage control. Especially since Oscar nomination voting closes in a mere three days! Luckily he got an opportunity last night, when James and Dave appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote The Disaster Artist. Right at the end of the interview, Stephen Colbert asked James about those allegations. James said he hasn’t read the accusations, but he’s heard about them. He says they’re “not accurate,” but he supports the women saying them. Although he has no idea what he did to piss off Ally Sheedy so much.
“I haven’t read [the accusations.] I’ve heard about them. Okay first of all, I have no idea what I did to Ally Sheedy. I directed her in a play Off Broadway. I had nothing but a great time with her, total respect for her. I have no idea why she was upset. The others? Look. In my life, I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I’ve done. I have to do that to maintain my well being….The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate, but I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice because they didn’t have a voice for so long. So I don’t want to, shut them down in any way. I think it’s a good thing and I support it.”
Stephen then asked if he thinks there’s a way to have “this discussion” outside of social media. James made the same face I make when someone asks me why I paid to see Why Him? in theaters. He honestly can’t explain that!
But James might be telling the truth when he says he wants to make things right. Back in November, James told Variety he’s a “new” James. Apparently New James is big on phone call apologies. One of James’ accusers, Violet Paley, who claimed that he forced her to give him oral sex, tweeted yesterday that she received a phone call apology a few weeks ago from James. Apology not accepted, apparently.
A couple weeks ago, James offered me & a few other girls an overdue, annoyed, convenient phone “apology”. I don’t accept, but maybe some other people’s lives would be made easier if he donated all of his earnings from “The Disaster Artist” to @RAINN01.
— Violet Paley (@VioletPaley) January 9, 2018
Until more detailed accusations come out, I guess James Franco’s only defense is the one he’s using; that the accusations aren’t accurate, but also, please, keep talking (as he points at his Time’s Up pin). Which I suppose is a better angle than, say, “Hey everyone, remember that sleazy young girl-chasing character I played in Spring Breakers? I swear that’s not the real me.”