People says that 41-year-old James Franco has commented on the #MeToo allegations against in a demurrer (which isn’t a name for a demure person, it’s a written objection ) related to the lawsuit filed against him by two female students of his now-dead acting school. He called the sexual harassment allegations “scurrilous publicity-seeking lawsuit” when it first came up and he’s doubling down on that same energy. James Franco thinks it’s a stunt meant to gain “as much publicity as possible.” Someone needs to call Ally Sheedy to the witness stand and ask her about how James believes these allegations are more ridiculous than the fact that he ran an acting school.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal accused James and his business partners at Playhouse West Studio 4 acting school of creating a sexually exploitative environment. Sarah and four other women came forward about allegations of sexual grossness from James in 2018 in an article for The Los Angeles Times. Sarah claimed then that James had removed safety guards from her crotch while filming an oral sex scene for The Long Home, the Franco-directed movie that has never even seen the light of the DVD clearance section of a Walmart. The lawsuit filed by Sarah and Toni last October accused the company of:
“Widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior towards female students by sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects.”
They are suing for sex discrimination, sexual harassment and fraud, but James says this is all nonsense. His demurrer says there’s tons of evidence of Sarah praising James and the acting school and that she knew what she was getting into in terms of nude scenes.
“While the salacious allegations in the complaint have made great tabloid fodder, they are also false and inflammatory, legally baseless and brought improperly in the form of a class action largely to gain as much publicity as possible… This lawsuit is a travesty of justice and the culmination of a meritless campaign that has unfairly tarnished a decent man’s hard-earned reputation… Ms. Tither-Kaplan had always expressed gratitude for having been given the opportunity to work in Emmy-nominated productions with Franco, one of her teachers. Tither-Kaplan was so effusive in her praise of Franco that she had posted unsolicited tweets and texts extolling Franco’s virtues, how much she admired him and how much she got out of her time at Studio 4… The casting director and others involved with those films have confirmed that all actresses, including Tither-Kaplan, were aware of the nudity scenes ahead of time, that they were constantly checking to make sure the actresses felt comfortable, that they signed nudity waivers, and that no one–including Tither-Kaplan–ever complained.”
“A travesty to justice…” These lawyers should consider laying it on a little less thick when it comes to the alleged systemic sexual harassment of women. Considering the world we live in, maybe pull back. It’s also rich since James will ask Macaulay Culkin about the allegations against Michael Jackson but please believe that he himself is fully innocent and this situation requires no more attention. I mean he’s so trustworthy, it’s not like he’s done something gross and harassment-like to anyone else…