By Rosy Cordero
May 09, 2021 at 05:43 PM EDT
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Seth Rogen is finally speaking out about the status of his friendship and business relationship with James Franco, who was accused of sexually inappropriate behavior in 2014 and again in 2018. Franco denies the allegations.

"What I can say is that I despise abuse and harassment and I would never cover or conceal the actions of someone doing it, or knowingly put someone in a situation where they were around someone like that," Rogen said in a new interview with The Sunday Times when asked if he believed the allegations against Franco might be true.

While answering the question, Rogen also reflected on a joke he made while hosting Saturday Night Live in 2014 during the show's monologue related to an allegation made against Franco by a 17-year-old who said he sent her Instagram DMs trying to meet up. Franco told Howard Stern at the time he had been "a gentleman."

Rogen said on SNL, "I decided to prank James Franco. I posed as a girl on Instagram [and] told him I was way young. He seemed unphased. I have a date to meet him at the Ace Hotel."

He told the outlet he "very much regrets making that joke," further calling it "terrible" in hindsight. Rogen added, "I also look back to that interview in 2018 where I comment that I would keep working with James, and the truth is that I have not and I do not plan to right now."

EW has reached out to reps for both Rogen and Franco.

Seth Rogen, James Franco
Seth Rogen and James Franco
| Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images; Matt Winkelmeyer/BAFTA LA/Getty Images

In Feb, Franco reached a settlement with two former students who accused the actor of sexual misconduct while attending his now-defunct acting school. Plaintiffs Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal said they were motivated to speak out about their experience with Franco after he wore a #TimesUp button at the 2018 Golden Globes.

The pair and three other women claimed Franco had abused his position of power and engaged in sexual exploitation. Shortly after the social media allegations were made, Franco appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert denying the allegations.

"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 said at the time.

For Rogen and Franco, who collaborated on several films, including Pineapple Express, This Is the End, The Interview, and The Disaster Artist, their friendship is also being tested though Rogen won't say that it's over at this time.

"I don't know if I can define that right now during this interview. I can say it, um, you know, it has changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic," Rogen said in the Sunday Times interview.

When the interviewer then asked Rogen if the current situation between the actors is painful, Rogen replied, "Yeah. But not as painful and difficult as it is for a lot of other people involved. I have no pity for myself in this situation."

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