UPDATE: After James Franco addressed the sexual misconduct allegations against him for the first time on Wednesday, the women who successfully sued him and received a $2.2 million settlement have criticized his interview as “insensitive” and “a transparent ducking of the real issues.” They say that Franco is trying to avoid confronting the “real issues.”
“Franco is entirely oblivious to the great agony and suffering he put his victims through with this farce of an acting school, and it still appears that he does not care about what he put them through. In addition to being naive about power dynamics, Franco is completely insensitive.
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It is incredible that even after agreeing to a settlement, he continues to minimize the experiences of the survivors and deny their agony. This is despite the fact that he has admitted that he had no right to operate such a school in the first place. This was not an accident caused by confusion about the name of the class, nor was it the product of him being overworked; rather, it was and is behavior that is beyond contempt.
There is no reason for anyone to believe that Franco is accepting responsibility for his actions or expressing regret over what took place as a result of this interview. In a statement to Variety on behalf of their clients, attorneys at Valli Kane & Vagnini LLP and Hadsell, Stormer Renick & Dai LLP said,
“It is a transparent ducking of the real issues released just before a major holiday in hopes that he wouldn’t face any scrutiny over his response.” “It is a transparent ducking of the real issues released just before a major holiday in hopes that he wouldn’t face any scrutiny over his response.”
A $2.2 million lawsuit filed against Franco and his accomplices in June claimed that they forced acting students to perform sexually explicit acts for the camera. Speaking out about the charges and his past with addiction on SiriusXM’s “The Jess Cagle” program, the actor finally spoke up after a long period of silence.
“In 2018, I received several complaints and was the subject of an article. ‘I’m going to be quiet,’ I thought at the time. ‘I’m going to take a break.’ It didn’t seem appropriate to say anything at the time. Franco admitted that he had to pay attention to those who were angry with him.
There were accusations in January 2018 from four students at his acting school, Studio 4, that Franco had inappropriate and sexually exploitative behavior towards them. In 2019, two of the students filed a lawsuit saying that Franco and his friends set up the workshops primarily to exploit young ladies. At Franco’s June 2021 settlement, the identified plaintiffs received $894,000, while the remaining claimants received $1,341,000 for a common fund.