James Franco wore a Time’s Up pin on his lapel at this week’s Golden Globes, where he received one of Hollywood’s top prizes for his role in “The Disaster Artist.”
But not everyone was happy for the 39 year old leading man, Ivy League graduate, and pret-a-porter journalist. Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, five women, four of them his former students and one who called him “a mentor” have made allegations of sexual exploitation against Franco.
“I feel there was an abuse of power, and there was a culture of exploiting non-celebrity women, and a culture of women being replaceable,” Sarah Tither-Kaplan told the Times, who is one of the five women and a former student of Franco’s.
She recalled a nude orgy scene she filmed with Franco and several women three years ago, “he removed protective plastic guards covering other actresses’ vaginas while simulating oral sex on them,” the Times reports.
After Franco received the honor on Sunday night, many women took to Twitter to express their dismay, and to accuse the actor of sexual abuse. Appearing on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Franco went on the pre-emptive defense.
“Look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things I have done…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,” he said.
In 2014, Franco used Instagram to ask a 17 year old British girl he met outside a theatre in New York if she had a boyfriend and if she was 18. After she revealed her age, he asked if she would want to get a hotel with him.
Franco founded his own acting school, Studio 4, where female students have reported inappropriate behavior.