Seth Rogen dumps James Franco after misconduct allegations – Los Angeles Times
Seth Rogen does “not plan” to continue working with James Franco after multiple women accused Franco of sexual misconduct.
In a recent interview with Britain’s Sunday Times, the actor and producer walked back his initial response to allegations leveled against his longtime friend and collaborator after actor Charlyne Yi accused him on social media of enabling Franco’s alleged behavior.
In April, Yi said on Instagram that she attempted to leave Rogen and Franco’s 2017 film, “The Disaster Artist,” because she “didn’t feel safe working with a f— sexual predator.” She accused the production of dismissing her concerns by claiming that “Franco being a predator was so last yr and that he changed,” while alleging she “literally heard of him abusing new women that week.”
“When I tried to break legal contract & quit disaster artist because James Franco is a sexual predator, they tried to bribe me with a bigger acting role,” Yi wrote, adding that Rogen “definitely knows about the bribe and why I quit.”
In 2018, Rogen told Vulture he was still willing to collaborate with his “This Is the End” costar following a Los Angeles Times investigation in which five women accused Franco of misconduct. Last week, Rogen told the Sunday Times he has changed his mind and that his lack of projects with Franco in recent years is not coincidental.
“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,” Rogen told the Sunday Times while addressing Yi’s Instagram comments.
“I … 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.”
Asked if he has maintained a personal relationship with Franco, the “Superbad” star hesitated.
“I don’t know if I can define that right now during this interview. I can say it … has changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic.”
While conceding that the aftermath of the Franco allegations has been “painful” for him, Rogen acknowledged that his experience is not “as painful and difficult as it is for a lot of other people involved.”
“I have no pity for myself in this situation,” he said.
Yi also called attention to a 2014 “Saturday Night Live” episode in which host Rogen joked about posing as a girl on Instagram and telling an “unfazed” Franco that he was “way young.” In another Instagram post, Yi said the bit featuring Rogen and Franco normalized “preying on underage girls. Which is dehumanization and patriarchal violence.”
“I very much regret making that joke,” Rogen told the Sunday Times. “It was a terrible joke, honestly.”
Rogen did not directly name or apologize to Yi in the interview. The “Lion King” actor’s remarks come soon after a settlement deal was reached in a lawsuit filed by actors Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal alleging that Franco coerced them and other acting students at his now-defunct Los Angeles film school into gratuitous and exploitative sexual situations.
While teaching a master class on sex scenes, Franco allegedly forced his students to perform graphic sex scenes on camera in an “orgy type setting” that would be considered unacceptable on Hollywood film sets, according to court documents.
Franco’s attorneys dismissed the lawsuit as “false and inflammatory, legally baseless and brought as a class action with the obvious goal of grabbing as much publicity as possible for attention-hungry plaintiffs.”
After Tither-Kaplan and four other women came forward in 2018, Rogen told Vulture he was “the last person who should be talking about” Franco’s alleged actions and argued that, as a “dude,” he had nothing relevant to contribute to the #MeToo conversation. On social media, Yi accused Rogen and others of being complicit in their silence.
“White men saying it’s not their responsibility when holding Franco accountable, or when holding Seth Rogen and enablers accountable,” Yi wrote.
“Then whose responsibility is it? The women and children who have PTSD from Franco? Or the future targets of abuse? White men perform infantilism when it comes to [sacrificing] their white supremacy & patriarchy bc they actually don’t give a f—.”