Updated Jan. 22, 2018, 11:30 a.m. PT: After skipping the Critics' Choice Awards among backlash over several allegations of predatory and sexually exploitative behavior, James Franco did attend Sunday's SAG Awards, where he was nominated for Best Actor for his role in The Disaster Artist. Though he appeared at the ceremony, Franco did not walk the red carpet or give any interviews.
His sister-in-law, Alison Brie, did address the backlash against him on the red carpet, though, telling Entertainment Tonight, "Tonight is about the work that has been done, and I think it still is important for all of us to celebrate that. So much goes into these projects that is behind-the-scenes that people don't see, so it's nice to still celebrate them. And, you know, I really admire how he's handling everything, listening and being open to change. I think we all need to support men being open to change if we want to see major change in this industry."
Despite Brie's support, though, others in the industry are not on Franco's side. Speaking at the Los Angeles Women's March on Saturday, Scarlett Johansson made a subtle dig at his choice to wear a Time's Up pin to the Golden Globes, which were held just days before five women would tell the LA Times he exploited or assault them. Without ever saying his name, Johansson told the crowd, "My mind baffles. How could a person publicly stand by an organization that helps to provide support for victims of sexual assault while privately preying on people who have no power? I want my pin back, by the way."
Original story, published Jan. 12, 2018: In light of five new sexual harassment allegations against him on Thursday, James Franco is laying low. Even though his movie The Disaster Artist is continuing a successful award show run, Franco skipped Thursday's Critics' Choice Awards and wasn't there to collect the award he won for Best Actor in a Comedy.
The award was presented during the one-hour pre-show by Vice Principals star Walton Goggins. The pre-show was streamed online before the main show was broadcast. When Goggins announced Franco as the winner in the category, there was a smattering of applause before Goggins announced that Franco wasn't there to accept the award. It was definitely a pretty awkward moment.
Considering that Franco has now been accused of sexual misconduct by so many women, he likely made the right choice to stay home from the ceremony. We've already seen these kinds of accusations topple the careers of men more powerful than Franco — Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K. and Kevin Spacey, to name a few. And while Franco's attorney keeps denying that's there's any truth to any of the claims (Franco himself hasn't made a public statement since the new allegations were published Thursday), five accounts from five separate women are hard to ignore.
In the days of the #MeToo movement and the Time's Up initiative, patience for this kind of behavior — both in Hollywood and among the public — is wearing increasingly thin. Franco is now learning that his actions have consequences, as powerful men before him have learned in recent months and as powerful men after him will learn in months to come.
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