Every year Vanity Fair releases a Hollywood Issue, which contains photographs of many major stars of the moment. This year was no different, with celebs like Gal Gadot and Zendaya gracing the cover. One person who wasn't included? James Franco, who was digitally removed from Vanity Fair's cover, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. Following the sexual misconduct allegations against him, he failed to make the final cut for the magazine. (Franco has called the allegations against him "not accurate.")
In addition to the 12 stars who were on the cover of the issue, Franco was supposed to be included. THR notes that the actor had already been involved in a photoshoot for the magazine with photographer Annie Leibovitz. He also reportedly did an interview to accompany the photos. However, Vanity Fair decided that, following the allegations, the best course of action would be to remove Franco from the issue entirely.
His removal didn't necessitate a reshoot because the stars are typically shot in separate groups and digitally combined afterwards, according to THR, so, the mag was able to digitally remove Franco's presence.
Vanity Fair released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, and said, "We made a decision not to include James Franco on the Hollywood cover once we learned of the misconduct allegations against him."
On Jan. 11, the Los Angeles Times' reported that five women were accusing Franco of sexual misconduct. In the report, Sarah Tither-Kaplan alleged that the actor had behaved inappropriately in a work environment. Tither-Kaplan, who was a student of Franco's at his Studio 4 acting school, claimed that during a sex scene that she filmed with the actor and several other women, he allegedly removed the protective plastic guards covering women's vaginas and simulated oral sex on them.
Violet Paley, who noted that she and Franco had a consensual sexual relationship at one point, alleged that the actor pressured her into performing oral sex on him while in a car. Prior to the LA Times' story, both of these women tweeted their allegations following Franco's win at the Golden Globes where he sported a Time's Up pin.
In response to the LA Times' report, Franco's lawyer Michael Plonsker disputed all of the women's claims. He also directed the publication to Franco's statement on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert regarding the claims. On the show, Franco said:
"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."
Tither-Kaplan and Paley both appeared on Good Morning America on Jan. 23, to discuss their allegations further. The women alleged that Franco abused his power by exploiting the non-celebrity women who he worked with, which echoed their sentiments in the LA Times report. The two women also expressed in their GMA interview that Franco wasn't "unforgivable". When asked if there was anything they would want to say to him directly, Paley replied, "Please, just apologize."
Tither-Kaplan and Paley's appearance on the morning show came on the same day that Franco was seemingly snubbed for an Oscar for his performance in The Disaster Artist.
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.