James Franco’s name was not called when Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday amid inappropriate sexual behavior accusations against the actor.
Twelve days after five women accused Franco of inappropriate or exploitative behavior in a Jan. 11 Los Angeles Times exposé (published one day before Academy’s deadline for nominations voting), the 39-year-old actor failed to receive a nomination from the Academy for his leading role in The Disaster Artist.
Franco skipped the Critics’ Choice Awards (where he won the award for best actor in a comedy) earlier this month in the wake of the allegations. He was in attendance at the SAG Awards on Sunday, where he was a nominee for best actor but did not win the category. Statistically, an Oscar nomination for Franco was in the cards, as ticking nomination boxes at the Critics Choice Awards, the SAG Awards, and the Golden Globes usually leads to recognition from the Academy.
During the Golden Globes telecast — where Franco won best actor in a comedy — actress Ally Sheedy, who worked with Franco in 2014 on his Off-Broadway directorial debut, The Long Shrift, tweeted her displeasure with The Disaster Artist star, writing, “Why is James Franco allowed in? Said too much…. James Franco just won. Please never ever ask me why I left the film/tv business.”
The L.A. Times article, published four days later (during nominations balloting, which opened Jan. 5 and closed Jan. 12), included more detailed accusations against Franco. Actress Violet Paley revealed an interaction with Franco while she was reportedly in a romantic relationship him, in which he reportedly began “nudging” her head toward his genitals.
“I just didn’t want him to hate me, so I did it,” Paley said.
Another actress, Sarah Tither-Kapley, who worked with Franco multiple times, alleged that he exploited her during the filming of a sexually explicit scene for his upcoming film The Long Home, which she signed a nudity agreement for prior to production.
“I feel so bad that Sarah feels the way she does. She is part of our camp!” The Long Home casting director, Cynthia Huffman, said via statement following Tither-Kaplan’s allegations. “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!”
Appearing on a series of late-night talk shows following his Globes victory, Franco denied the allegations and voiced further support for victims of sexual assault.
“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 told Stephen Colbert on the Jan. 9 episode of The Late Show. He echoed the sentiment to Seth Meyers on Late Night the following night.
“Yes, I was sent a couple of the tweets, so yeah, I did read them,” he responded when Meyers asked him about the information being spread about him on social media. “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.”