Last month, five women told The Los Angeles Times sexual misconduct stories about James Franco’s alleged creepy behavior. Ever since then, things haven’t been great for James Franco. The New York Times cancelled a Disaster Artist event. Scarlett Johansson dragged him at the L.A. Women’s March for wearing a Time’s Up pin. And then he was shut out of the Oscar nominations. Based on that downward trajectory, I fully expected to read that HBO had casually “forgotten” to send James a save-the-date card for the first day of shooting the second season of The Deuce. But as it turns out, there are no plans to send James packing.
The Deuce co-creator David Simon released a statement to Variety regarding James’ future on the show. The Deuce was renewed for a second season back in September, but hasn’t begun production yet. James stars as twin brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino. He’s also one of the executive producers, and has directed two episodes. David has read all the allegations against James, but hasn’t heard of any shitty behavior from him on set, so he stays.
“I’m still reading it the same as everyone else, trying to discern what is or isn’t there. Personally I can only speak knowledgeably to The Deuce. I’ve checked with all my fellow producers and other personnel. We have no complainant or complaint or any awareness of any incident of concern involving Mr. Franco. Nor has HBO been approached with any complaint. In our experience, he was entirely professional as an actor, director, and producer.”
I would love to know how that investigation went, because James looks peak-sleazy as Vincent and Frankie. I’m willing to bet every question began with: “Has James ever given made you feel uncomfortable, you know, besides the way he looks in that pervert mustache?”
So James allegedly used his position at his acting school to pull some gross shit with women below him, but HBO isn’t going to let him go because it didn’t happen on their turf. Okay, fine. But if that’s the message they want to send, then HBO better have a good excuse prepared if Louis C.K. shows back up at their office today, asking if this new rule only applies to creeps named James.