The Time's Up movement and wave of sexual harassment allegations that sparked it is shining a spotlight not only on the accused and their collaborators, but their extended family as well. Sister-in-law Allison Brie was asked about the James Franco allegations while at the 2018 SAG awards, and, in her answer, tried to support women while also remaining diplomatic.
“Above all," Brie said, "it remains vital that anyone that feels victimized should and does have the right to speak out and come forward. I obviously support my family, and not everything that’s been reported has been accurate, so I think we’re waiting to get all the information. But of course now is the time for listening, and that’s what we are all trying to do.”
Whether the "inaccuracies" she's talking about is a comment on the reporting or the accusations themselves is unclear. What's clear about her statement is that Brie is seemingly not out to blame any victims. That said, while it is not fair to hold Brie accountable for her brother-in-law's behavior, and she certainly is not expected to apologize for it, Brie's public response does matter as both someone who is close to Franco and as a woman in Hollywood. This statement strikes a delicate balance between supporting women and her family.
She basically echoed the sentiment behind Franco's own statement to Seth Meyers earlier this month.
"I was sent a couple of the tweets. So yeah, I did read them. I haven't responded. 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.
I think what I really learned, and being here this week, and that show that we were [at] — it was so powerful in there. 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. 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."
While being interviewed by Stephen Colbert, Franco again said something similar to his sister-in-law:
"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. 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. So, I don't want to shut them down in any way. It's a good thing and I support it."
The fact that the Franco allegations are coming to light right in the middle of press for The Disaster Artist (editor: Stacey Schroeder) and awards season raises the stakes a bit — not necessarily in a bad way. Cameras and microphones are on Hollywood more often than usual. It's awesome that Giuliana Rancic is asking these hard-hitting questions on the red carpet at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and keeping this conversation going.