Whether it came from an earnest desire to let women take the spotlight or a panicked attempt to avoid attracting attention, the fact remains that none of the men who won awards at the Golden Globes last night had much—scratch that, anything—to say about the #MeToo movement. There was a sea of black tuxedos, sure, but they were going to wear those anyway. Some male attendees wore a pin bearing the logo of the new Time’s Up campaign, which establishes a legal defense fund for women harassed in the workplace. One of those men was James Franco, who won Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy for his performance in The Disaster Artist.
Franco seemed very comfortable with the attention when he accepted the Globe—so comfortable, he pushed the guy he won the award for playing, weirdo auteur Tommy Wiseau, away from the mic. But, according to many vague insinuations and two direct accusations on Twitter, Franco really shouldn’t be so smug. This isn’t even an open secret: Franco admitted to hitting on a 17-year-old girl on Instagram back in 2014, which was less of a noble admission than an acknowledgement that he, too, had seen the screenshots all over the internet. At the time, he told Live With Kelly And Michael, “I guess I’m just a model of how social media is tricky. It’s 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 ... I used bad judgment and I learned my lesson.”
One person who hasn’t forgiven him is actress Ally Sheedy, who expressed her disgust with Franco’s win in a series of since-deleted tweets. (You can see the screenshots here.) Sheedy wouldn’t say if her anger at Franco’s win was related to a personal experience with the actor/director, but she did appear in a Franco-directed play in New York in 2014. However, in the wake of Sheedy’s comments, two young women came forward with personal stories indicating that Franco’s Instagram whoopsie may have actually been part of a larger pattern of sexual misconduct that has yet to be fully explored in the press:
According to former LA Weekly film critic April Wolfe (who, full disclosure, is a friend and professional acquaintance of this writer), that story may already be in the works. Wolfe, unaware of the allegations against Franco, wrote a positive profile of him around the release of The Disaster Artist, only to be contacted by women accusing him of various forms of sexual misconduct afterwards:
Not that we would ever condone such a crass and cynical method of coping with an important and very painful issue, but if you happen to have a “Hollywood creeps” betting pool going, the odds on the eldest Franco are looking pretty good right now.