David Simon, co-creator of HBO’s The Deuce, released a statement regarding James Franco, who was accused of inappropriate sexual behavior by five women.
“I’m still reading it the same as everyone else, trying to discern what is or isn’t there,” Simon said. “Personally I can only speak knowledgeably to The Deuce. I’ve checked with all my fellow producers and other personnel. We have no complainant or complaint or any awareness of any incident of concern involving Mr. Franco. Nor has HBO been approached with any complaint. In our experience, he was entirely professional as an actor, director, and producer.”
As the star of The Disaster Artist accepted best actor in a motion picture comedy or musical on the stage of the Golden Globes Sunday, actresses Violet Paley and Sarah Tither-Kaplan tweeted allegations against Franco. In a story published by The Los Angeles Times on Thursday morning, they — and three other women — elaborated further.
Among the claims, which Franco has previously denied as “not accurate,” the actor was accused of pressuring Paley into performing oral sex on him just after they had entered into a romantic relationship and removing plastic guards that covered actresses’ vaginas while he simulated oral sex on them during an orgy scene for his movie The Long Home. (Franco’s attorney, according to the Los Angeles Times, denied the claim about the removal of the plastic guards.)
Ahead of the Times‘ publication, Franco addressed the claims made on Twitter with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show and Seth Meyers on Late Night.
“Yes, I was sent a couple of the tweets, so yeah, I did read them,” Franco told Meyers on Wednesday. “I haven’t responded. I think — well the ones I read were not accurate, but one of the things that I’ve learned is that this is a conversation that obviously needs to be had. There are people, women and others, who have not been a part of this conversation and I truly believe and why I was wearing the pin is that they need to be a part of this conversation and so I support that.”
“I feel so bad that Sarah feels the way she does. She is part of our camp!” Cynthia Huffman, the casting director of The Long Home, said in a statement provided by Franco’s reps. “All actresses were aware of the nudity scenes ahead of time. I personally checked on all the actresses constantly to make sure they were ok and comfortable. I talked to them several times and told them if they were uncomfortable or did not like what was going on to come to me immediately and I would take care of it. I did not receive any complaints. James is all about giving up and comers, actors and actresses and young filmmakers a break in this business. I feel horrible that anyone was made to feel uncomfortable but we went to great lengths to make sure all the actresses in the nude scenes felt comfortable and safe. We are all about making movies and having fun on set!”