Rogen and Franco were known friends in Hollywood and collaborated regularly on films including Pineapple Express, This Is the End and The Disaster Artist.
In 2019, actors Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal filed a lawsuit alleging that Franco had intimidated students at Studio 4, the since-closed acting and film school he founded, into gratuitous and exploitative sexual situations.
The suit alleged that Franco “sought to create a pipeline of young women who were subjected to his personal and professional sexual exploitation in the name of education” with the promise of potential roles in his films for those who took part.
A deal was reached in February 2021, with both Tither-Kaplan and Gaal agreeing to drop their individual claims under the agreement. However, elements of the lawsuit may live on in the future.
Legal representatives for Franco originally responded to the misconduct claims, calling them “false and inflammatory”.
Rogen, who previously said that he still planned to work with Franco in a 2018 interview, has now suggested the pair have since fallen out over the allegations.
“What I can say is that I despise abuse and harassment and I would never cover or conceal the actions of someone doing it, or knowingly put someone in a situation where they were around someone like that,” he told Sunday Times’ Culture magazine.
The Knocked Up star, who said the allegations have affected their friendship, added: “I look back to that interview in 2018 where I comment that I would keep working with James, and the truth is that I have not and I do not plan to right now.”
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Rogen said that his decision to no longer work with the actor was “not a coincidence”, stating: “I can say it, um, you know, it has changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic.”
He also expressed regret for a “terrible” 2014 joke he made while presenting Saturday Night Live in which he quipped that he had posed as an underage girl on Instagram in an attempt to lure Franco into a date.
The joke was designed to address the revelation that Franco had been messaging a then 17-year-old girl on social media. In messages leaked online, Franco asked whether she had a boyfriend and if she would like to meet up.
Addressing the messages at the time, Franco said: “It’s the way that people meet each other today, but what I’ve learned – I guess because I’m new to it – is you don’t know who’s on the other end. You don’t know who you’re talking to. I used bad judgement and I learned my lesson.”
Rogen, who produces Amazon Prime Video series Invincible, is currently promoting his new book Yearbook, which is being published by Sphere on Tuesday (11 May).
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