Seth Rogen has opened up about his decision to distance himself from long-time friend James Franco after the actor had allegations slapped against him of inappropriate behavior towards several women.
Rogen, 39, spoke with The Sunday Times about his past friendship with Franco and why he wants to maintain some space between them now that Franco has had several women accuse him of sexual misconduct.
When asked if he believed allegations that he “enabled” Franco during filming for 2017’s The Disaster Artist, Rogen told the magazine, “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.”
What was James Franco accused of?
Franco was first accused of misconduct in 2014, with more claims being brought forth through 2019. Just this February, a preliminary settlement was agreed upon after two women sued the actor for sexual exploitation during their time at Franco’s acting school, Studio 4. T
The L.A. Times reported that five more women had come forward with assault claims against the actor in 2019.
The lawsuit alleged that Franco “exploited” young women at the acting studio and that the actor “engaged in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior towards female students by sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects,” according to The Washington Post.
Rogen continued to open up about his thoughts on Franco, continuing to share with The Sunday Times that he regrets a joke he made about the actor while on Saturday Night Live in 2014. In the monologue, Rogen joked about Franco’s penchant for younger girls, saying, “I decided to prank James Franco. I posed as a girl on Instagram, told him I was way young. He seemed unfazed. I have a date to meet him at the Ace Hotel.”
Why does Seth Rogen regret his SNL joke about James Franco?
Now, Rogen regrets his choice to poke fun at the situation, explaining, “It was a terrible joke, honestly. I also 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.
“I don’t know if I can define that [the friendship] right now during this interview. I can say it has changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic.”
Why did James Franco wear a Time’s Up pin to the Golden Globes and what did he say to Stephen Colbert about it?
Franco talked with Stephen Colbert in 2018 about his past. When Colbert asked Franco to elaborate about why he chose to wear a Time’s Up lapel to the Golden Globes, and to share his response to the backlash he received after the awards, the actor said, “First I want to say, look, I do support it. I was so excited to win but being in that room that night was incredible, it was powerful and there were incredible voices.
“I support it, I support change, I support, uh, 50/50 and 20/20, which just means that people are underrepresented, women and, uh, people of color and the LGBTQ community get positions, leadership positions, that they fill all positions they’ve been deprived of. I completely believe in that. That’s why I wore it.”
Franco continued, addressing some things that had gone around Twitter that day.
“There were some things on Twitter,” the actor went on, to which Colbert clarified that it had been that same day. “I haven’t read them, I’ve heard about them. Okay, first of all, I have no idea what I did to Ally Sheady.
“I directed her in a play off Broadway. I had nothing but a great time with her, uh, total respect for her, I have no idea why she was upset,” he said. “The others, look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I’ve done. I have to do that to maintain my well-being…the things that I heard that were on Twitter, um, 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.”
Rogen can be seen soon in the movie Pam and Tommy with Lily James and Sebastian Stan.