After The Los Angeles Times reported that five women accused James Franco of sexual misconduct (the actor said the accusations are "not accurate" in an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert), there's been speculation as to whether the actor will be at the 2018 SAG Awards. The actor is nominated as Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Leading Role for The Disaster Artist. His representative told CNN that James Franco would attend the 2018 SAGs.
And while the actor doesn't appear to have walked the SAG red carpet, People has reported that Franco is at the ceremony. The publication reported that he was in attendance with his girlfriend, Isabel Pakzad. And he appeared on screen when the nominees for his category were announced.
The SAG Awards marks the first awards show appearance for Franco since the allegations came to light, shortly after his win for Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture — Comedy Or Musical at the Golden Globes for his portrayal of Tommy Wiseau. At the Golden Globes, along with many other male actors, Franco sported a pin honoring the Time’s Up initiative, a movement that includes a legal defense fund set up in support of victims of sexual abuse.
Franco skipped the Critics Choice Awards on Jan. 11, which took place the same day that the Los Angeles Times story was published. He ended up winning the Best Actor in a Comedy Award in absentia.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan, who was a former acting student of Franco’s through his Studio4 company, claimed to The Los Angeles Times that there was an alleged abuse of power within her interactions with the Disaster Artist star. She claimed that during the filming of a sex scene involving Franco simulating oral sex on women, the actor allegedly removed plastic protective guards that covered the women's genitals. In response, Franco’s lawyer Michael Plonsker gave a statement to the publication saying, “the allegations about the protective guards are not accurate.”
Tither-Kaplan also spoke out on Twitter about her allegations and about Franco winning a Golden Globe. In her tweets, she alleged that Franco had exploited her during the filming of a nude scene in one of his films.
Violet Paley, who said she considered Franco a mentor and noted that she had a consensual sexual relationship with him at one point, also accused the actor of sexual misconduct. She claimed to the publication that during one encounter, the actor allegedly coaxed her into performing oral sex on him, maneuvering her head towards his lap. Plonsker also denied this claim on behalf of Franco. He called Paley’s allegations “not accurate.”
Paley, like Tither-Kaplan, tweeted in response to Franco sporting the Time’s Up pin at the Golden Globes:
Franco appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Jan. 10, where he discussed the accusations and the Time’s Up movement. He said that he does support the Time’s Up movement, which is why he wore the pin at the Golden Globes in support of it. He continued:
"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's 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. I think it's a good thing and I support it."
No doubt the conversation will continue, whether or not Franco continues to receive accolades for this performance.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.