After taking home the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for The Disaster Artist, the question remained whether James Franco would be nominated for the 2018 Oscars. With the official list of nominees released on Tuesday, Jan. 23, Franco did not score any nominations and neither did his movie. And given the recent sexual misconduct allegations against him, plenty of fans on Twitter are breathing a sigh of relief. (Franco has denied the allegations against him and claimed they are "not accurate." Bustle reached out to the Academy for comment on whether this is the reason behind his lack of nominations, but did not receive an immediate response.)
It's worth keeping in mind that voting for this year's Oscar nominations took place from Jan. 5 through Jan. 12, according to the Academy's official website. It was on Monday, Jan. 8 — the morning after the Golden Globes — that word began to spread about the allegations against Franco. That meant that the early birds who got their votes in right when the window opened, understandably, would not be able to weigh the allegations into their decision. However, there were a full four days of voting afterward.
It's currently unclear whether Franco withdrew himself from the nominations, or voters intentionally did not choose him. Still, this is the same Academy that took swift action and kicked Harvey Weinstein out of their organization when three decades' worth of allegations surfaced against the movie producer. (Through a spokesperson, Weinstein denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.) And it's for that very reason that the lack of nominations for Franco actually isn't all that surprising.
In October, Academy reportedly held an emergency meeting to vote Weinstein out, where members "voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority to immediately expel him from the Academy," according to a statement released at the time. Their statement continued:
"We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over."
Given the stance the Academy took regarding Weinstein, how could they possibly contradict that by continuing to celebrate Franco's work? And for him not to receive a nomination at all, given him taking home the prize at the Globes, is significant. The Disaster Artist didn't even snag nominations in any of the behind-the-scenes categories either.
To date, Franco was accused of sexual misconduct by five women, including former students at the film school he founded. (When the news broke, Bustle reached out to Franco's rep and lawyer for additional comment, but did not receive an immediate response.) Sarah Tither-Kaplan, who attended his film school, tweeted about Franco during the Golden Globes, pointing out the alleged hypocrisy of his Time's Up pin. She later told the Los Angeles Times, "I feel there was an abuse of power, and there was a culture of exploiting non-celebrity women, and a culture of women being replaceable."
Meanwhile, Violet Paley also tweeted about Franco's pin. On the night of the Globes, she alleged on Twitter,
"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?"
Of these allegations, Franco told Stephen Colbert during an appearance on Jan. 9,
"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."
Franco recently attended the SAG Awards, but sat out the Critics Choice Awards. Now, Twitter is reacting to the lack of Oscar noms Franco received — many with praise for what's being perceived as an intentional snub.
Whether the snub came from the Academy or individual voters or something else entirely, the Academy is still staying true to their word by sending "a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over." And in doing so, they're making it clear that Time's Up is so much more than a pin on someone's suit jacket.
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.