Published in the Los Angeles Times, the report details five women’s alleged experiences with The Disaster Artist star, including four of Franco’s students and one who saw him as a mentor.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan — a former student who has appeared in various productions alongside Franco, including Making a Scene with James Franco — told The Times there was allegedly “an abuse of power, and there was a culture of exploiting non-celebrity women, and a culture of women being replaceable.”
She claims that, while filming an orgy scene, Franco ‘removed protective plastic guards covering other actresses’ vaginas while simulating oral sex on them’.
Another two students also recounted negative on-set allegations, alleging the actor would become angry when women would not agree to get topless.
An attorney for Franco has disputed the allegations, pointing towards his comments on Stephen Colbert’s show. “Look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I have done,” he told the Late Show host.
“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.”
“If I have done something wrong,” he added, “I will fix it — I have to.”
Franco has previously been scrutinised in public. Back in 2014, the actor was publicly shamed for using Instagram to talk with a 17-year-old British girl, asking whether they should meet at a hotel room despite knowing her age. Franco said at the time: “I’m embarrassed, and I guess I’m just a model of how social media is tricky. I used bad judgment and I learned my lesson.”
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