James Franco Denies Sexual Misconduct Accusations: A Timeline

Following the Golden Globes, James Franco faced backlash on social media from users who were less than thrilled to see him wearing a Time’s Up pin.

A number of viewers were upset that he donned the pin—which signifies support for victims and silence-breakers in the fight against sexual misconduct in the workplace—because they believed Franco has not been respectful toward women in the past. His appearance at the awards show prompted several women to come forward on Twitter with accusations against Franco.

The actor then appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Late Night with Seth Meyers on Tuesday and Wednesday; on both shows, he directly addressed allegations of sexual misconduct against him. On Thursday morning, the Los Angeles Times published a piece in which five women spoke out about personal experiences with the actor.

Here’s a look at everything that has transpired.

Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Back in 2014, Franco admitted to sending Instagram messages inviting a 17-year-old girl to a hotel room.

Franco, who was 35 at the time, reportedly messaged a 17-year-old girl and asked if she was single and if he could rent a hotel room for them while in New York City. He addressed it on Live with Kelly and Michael, and called his actions “bad judgment.”

“I guess I’m, you know, embarrassed, and I guess I’m just a model of how social media is tricky,” he said at the time. “In my position, not only do I have to go through the embarrassing rituals of meeting someone, but sometimes it gets published for the world.”

At the 2018 Golden Globes, he wore a Time’s Up pin on the red carpet. 

Jan. 7: Almost everyone at the Golden Globes wore black and many also wore Time’s Up pins. Franco was among those who did both.

Neilson Barnard/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

In the press room, he spoke about what Hollywood men can do better. 

InStyle confirms that when asked in the press room why he chose to stand in solidarity that night and what he thought all men in Hollywood could do better going forward, Franco said: “I was asked this question a lot too when I did the film Milk and I always said, whenever any group—and this was around the time of Proposition 8 too—any time any group is treated differently, or less rights, or less equality than others, it’s everyone’s responsibility to stand up and make changes.”

VIDEO: James Franco Denies Sexual Harassment Allegations, Says Has No Idea Why Ally Sheedy “Was Upset”

As Franco won a Golden Globe, The Breakfast Club Star Ally Sheedy called out the actor on Twitter. 

In a series of now-deleted tweets, Sheedy, who worked with Franco on the off-Broadway play The Long Shrift in 2014, weighed in on Franco’s Golden Globes win for best lead actor in a comedy for The Disaster Artist.

“James Franco just won. Please never ever ask me why I left the film/tv business,” she tweeted. “Ok wait. Bye. Christian Slater and James Franco at a table on @goldenglobes #MeToo.”

“Why is a man hosting? Why is James Franco allowed in? Said too much. Nite love ya @goldenglobes.”

Actress Sarah Tither-Kaplan tweeted after she saw Franco wearing a Time’s Up pin. 

Tither-Kaplan said that she didn’t feel like she could say no to nudity on a recent project with Franco.

“Hey James Franco, nice #timesup pin at the #GoldenGlobes, remember a few weeks ago when you told me the full nudity you had me do in two of your movies for $100/day wasn’t exploitative because I signed a contract to do it? Times up on that!” she tweeted. In a response to another tweet, she said, “I one hundred percent did not feel like I had a choice to say no.”

The Monday after the Globes, actress Violet Paley tweeted additional accusations against Franco. 

Jan. 8: “Cute #TIMESUP pin James Franco,” she tweeted. “Remember the time you pushed my head down in a car towards your exposed penis & that other time you told my friend to come to your hotel when she was 17? After you had already been caught doing that to a different 17 year old?”

That Tuesday, Franco publicly addressed the allegations on TV.

Jan. 9: Franco appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to discuss the allegations on Twitter directly.

“OK, first of all, I have no idea what I did to Ally Sheedy, I directed her in a play off-Broadway. I had nothing but a great time with her, total respect for her. I have no idea why she was upset, he said. “She took the tweet down. I don’t know. I can’t speak for her, I don’t know.”

“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. I do it whenever I know that there is something wrong or needs to be changed, I make it a point to do it,” he said.

“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. “So I don’t want to, you know, shut them down in any way. It’s, I think, a good thing and I support it.”

Franco also explained the Time’s Up pin he wore to the Golden Globes.

“There were incredible voices, and I support it. I support change. I support 50/50 and 20/20 which just means, you know, people that are underrepresented, women, and people of color, people in the LGBT community get, you know, positions—leadership positions that they fill all positions that they have been deprived of, I completely believe in that.”

And he discussed what he plans to do next. 

“The way I live my life, I can’t live if there’s restitution to be made. I will make it. So if I’ve done something wrong, I will fix it. I have to. I mean, I think that’s how that works,” he said. “I mean, as far as the bigger issues, you know, how we do it, I really don’t have the answers and I think the point of this whole thing is that we listen. You know, there were incredible people talking that night. They had a lot to say, and I’m here to listen and learn and change my perspective where it’s off, and I’m completely willing and want to.”

On Wednesday, Franco said he had not been in touch with Ally Sheedy

Jan. 10: Franco appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers to further discuss the allegations against him.

“I was sent a couple of the tweets. So yeah, I did read them. I haven’t responded,” he said. “The ones I read were not accurate, but one of the things that I’ve learned is that this is a conversation that obviously needs to be had. There are people, women, and others, who have not been a part of this conversation. I truly believe, and why I was wearing the pin, is that they need to be a part of this conversation. I support them.”

When Meyers asked about Ally Sheedy’s tweets specifically, Franco said he did not understand her motives but he had not reached out to her. “I had a great relationship with her. She took the tweet down. I don’t know. I really don’t,” he said. When asked if he was curious about her motives, he replied, “I don’t know. It was so shocking. I don’t know. I just … I guess I’m just letting it be.”

Franco told Meyers that if he had to “take a knock” for more women to be heard, he’s OK with that. 

“I think what I really learned, and being here this week, and that show that we were [at]—it was so powerful in there,” he said. “Like I said, there are stories that need to get out. There are people that need to be heard. I have my own side of this story, but I believe in these people that have been underrepresented getting their stories out enough that I will hold back things that I could say just because I believe in that much,” he said. “If I have to take a knock because I’m not going to try and actively refute things, then I will, because I believe in it that much.”

Five women accused Franco of “inappropriate or sexually exploitative behavior.”

Jan 11: The morning after Franco’s interview with Seth Meyers aired, the Los Angeles Times published accusations made against him by five women, including Sarah Tither-Kaplan. Four of the women were Franco’s former acting students at a film school he founded, and the fifth woman said he was her mentor.

Tither-Kaplan alleged that three years ago, while filming a nude orgy scene with the actor and several women, Franco “removed a clear plastic guard that covered their vaginas—and continued to simulate the sex act with no protection,” the L.A. Times reports.

Franco’s attorney Michael Plonsker disputed all of the allegations to the L.A. Times.

Franco’s rep confirms the actor’s plan to attend the SAG Awards.

Despite the allegations, Franco’s rep told CNN that he will be at the SAG Awards ceremony on Sunday. Franco is nominated for a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.

Franco attended the SAG Awards, but skipped the Oscars.

Jan. 21: Franco attended the SAG Awards, but he did not give any statements. His sister-in-law Alison Brie did comment, though.

“I think that above all what we’ve always said is that it remains vital that anyone who remains victimized should and does have the right to speak out and come forward,” she said. “I obviously support my family and not everything that’s been reported is fully accurate, so I think we’re waiting to get all the information. But of course, now is a time for listening, and that’s what we’re all trying to do.”

March 4: Even though he went to the Golden Globes and SAG Awards, Franco did not appear at the Oscars (though some think he should have). 

Sharon Stone came to Franco’s defense. 

March 13: A few weeks after award show season ended, Franco’s Disaster Artist co-star Sharon Stone publicly declared that she is standing by the actor amid the sexual misconduct allegations against him.

“I’m appalled by this thing about him that is happening” she said during an appearance on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. “Now all of a sudden he’s a bad guy? I worked with him, I know him. … He’s a kind friend, lovely professional. I’m absolutely appalled by this.”

Stone also called him “the loveliest, kindest, sweetest, elegant, nicest man.”

Seth Rogen weighed in on allegations against Franco.

David Crotty/Getty Images

In a recent interview with Vulture, Franco’s longtime friend and collaborator addressed the accusations against the actor, telling the site, “The truth is that my perspective on this is the least relevant perspective. I’m friends with these people and I’m a dude. All that combined makes me the last person who should be talking about this.” When asked whether the allegations would affect Rogen’s willingness to work with Franco, he said “no.”

—With reporting by Brandi Fowler

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