James Franco denies allegations amidst #MeToo movement
James Franco first came under fire last fall, when two women filed a lawsuit against Franco for sexual misconduct. The behaviour allegedly took place at his acting school in Hollywood, Playhouse West Studio 4.
“While the salacious allegations in the complaint have made great tabloid fodder, they are also false and inflammatory, legally baseless and brought improperly in the form of a class action largely to gain as much publicity as possible,” Franco’s filing stated.
In 2018 Franco was accused of sexual exploitation, including removing a safety guard while filming a simulated oral sex scene for the film The Long Home in 2015.
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One of the plaintiffs, Sarah Tither-Kaplan said, “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."
Franco has been on blast before for misconduct, and has spoken out multiple times about such allegations.
In his filing, Franco responded, “Ms. Tither-Kaplan had always expressed gratitude for having been given the opportunity to work in Emmy-nominated productions with Franco, one of her teachers.”
On the nude scenes listed in the suit, Franco’s objection said, “The casting director and others involved with those films have confirmed that all actresses, including Tither-Kaplan, were aware of the nudity scenes ahead of time, that they were constantly checking to make sure the actresses felt comfortable, that they signed nudity waivers, and that no one — including Tither-Kaplan — ever complained.”
The suit alleges “widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behaviour towards female students by sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects.”
Two women, including Tither-Kaplan, are suing Franco on claims of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and fraud, among other allegations.