Golden Globe winner James Franco is the latest Hollywood man to be accused of sexually inappropriate behavior towards women.
The 39-year-old “Disaster Artist” star — who was blasted on Twitter for wearing a “Time’s Up” pin to the Golden Globes on Sunday — apparently tried to get ahead of accusations that he sexually exploited and abused women by addressing the matter on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” Wednesday.
“One of the things I’ve learned is that this is a conversation that obviously needs to be had,” he said. “There are people, women and others, who have not been a part of this conversation. And I truly believe they need to be part of this conversation. So that’s why I was wearing the pin and I support that.”
The allegations, published Thursday morning in the Los Angeles Times, came from five different women. Here are their stories:
Tither-Kaplan, a 26-year-old student actress, told The Times that during filming a nude orgy scene with Franco and several other women three years ago he removed protective plastic guards covering other actresses’ vaginas and simulated oral sex on them.
“I feel there was an abuse of power,” she tells the paper. “And there was a culture of exploiting non-celebrity women, and a culture of women being replaceable.” She also took to Twitter the night of the Golden Globes to express her exasperation with Franco proudly wearing his “Time’s Up” pin.
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!
— Sarah Tither-Kaplan? (@sarahtk) January 8, 2018
Paley, 23, met Franco in 2016 and began a romantic relationship with him — but she says the power dynamic was always off.
Recalling an incident in which the two of them were in the car, she says “I was talking to him, all of a sudden his penis was out. I got really nervous, and I said, ‘Can we do this later?’ He was kind of nudging my head down, and I just didn’t want him to hate me, so I did it.”
Cute #TIMESUP pin James Franco. 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?
— Violet Paley (@VioletPaley) January 8, 2018
Hilary Dusome and Natalie Chmiel
Both Dusome and Chmiel recounted Franco getting angry on a set when none of the actresses acquiesced to his request that they take their shirts off. Chmiel says she was told the footage for a jeans commercial; Dusome thought it was for one of his “art films.”
Ryan, the fifth accuser, met Franco at Playhouse West and took several classes with him. She says he “would always make everybody think there were possible roles on the table if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts.” She also notes that for years, she received mass email requests from Franco to audition for roles playing a “prostitute or a hooker.”
This isn’t the first time Franco’s been accused
Earlier this week, the 39-year-old actor appeared on Stephen Colbert’s “The Late Show” to deny previous accusations of sexual misconduct. Franco told Colbert that those claims were “not accurate” but said “if I’ve done something wrong, I will fix it.”
Those accusations surfaced on Twitter minutes after he accepted a best comedy actor Golden Globe on Sunday for his role in “The Disaster Artist.”
”The things 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,“ Franco told Colbert on Tuesday. ”So, I don’t want to shut them down in any way.
Franco also is nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award for his “Disaster Artist” role at a Jan. 21 ceremony in Los Angeles.
Reuters contributed to this report.