Earlier this year, James Franco was accused of being a creep by five women who spoke to the Los Angeles Times. Since then, he’ss kept his head down and was likely counting down the weeks until his worst year was officially over. Unfortunately for James, he’s not going to leave 2018 without at least one last Google alert about his alleged shitty behavior. Although this time, it’s about how he got violent with Busy Philipps during the filming of Freaks and Geeks.
Busy first talked about her dislike of James Franco a few years ago, but it was in more of a late night talk show anecdote way. In 2016, she confessed during an appearance of Watch What Happens Live that she and James didn’t get along when they filmed the show back in 1999. Busy joked that their hatred of each other got so bad that at one point James shoved her to the ground. She swore they’re friends now and really like each other as adults.
Busy has spoken more about the on-set shoving situation in her upcoming memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little, and she was clearly underplaying the whole “LOL I got shoved by James Franco” part of her story. Busy writes the altercation took place during a scene in which her character, legendary bitch Kim Kelly, gently hits her sexy dirtbag boyfriend Daniel Desario, played by James Franco, on the chest. James is the artiest actor who ever acted, so you might think he would appreciate Busy’s commitment to realism. But he was very pissed that Busy struck him and he allegedly went off on her, both verbally and physically.
“He grabbed both my arms and screamed in my face, ‘DON’T EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN!’ And he threw me to the ground. Flat on my back. Wind knocked out of me.”
She also describes James as a “fucking bully,” and adds that everyone on set was horrified by what they saw. Busy later described the incident to co-star Linda Cardellini, who Busy says urged her to tell her manager. The next day, James apologized after being told to by the show’s directors and producers. Ah, the forced-by-my-boss apology – truly the most heartfelt of the insincere apologies. Busy says that besides the apology, James was never formally punished for laying hands on her.
James hasn’t said anything in regards to Busy’s story. Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig and executive producer Judd Apatow also haven’t said anything yet. But whenever someone speaks up, it will probably be with a tone of general embarrassment. The only person from Freaks and Geeks who could possibly see a bright side in this situation is Shia LaBeouf, who played the William McKinley High school mascot. “I’ve been known to be a violent douche to an actress, but I can honestly say I wasn’t the most violent douche to any actress on the set of Freaks and Geeks, so…”