In the wake of new accusations of inappropriate conduct with women, James Franco has been digitally removed from the cover of Vanity Fair‘s upcoming annual Hollywood issue. The actor/director had been part of a portrait with several other prominent creators, including Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey, Gal Gadot and Harrison Ford.
While James Franco had faced allegations of inappropriate conduct with women in the past, a fresh wave of complaints rose up in the wake of Franco’s win of a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his performance in The Disaster Artist. Franco denied all the charges during appearances on Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, while insisting that it was important that his accusers – and indeed any woman who claims to have been a victim of harassment or assault – be allowed to make their case publicly.
People Magazine broke the story on the edits and the specific reasons behind why the image was digitally altered. A Vanity Fair spokesperson confirmed that they “made a decision not to include James Franco on the Hollywood cover once we learned of the misconduct allegations against him.”
The most recent round of accusations against Franco came from five women who took acting lessons at the film school which Franco founded. The women allege that Franco abused his authority as an instructor and mentor, with two women specifically complaining about being pressured to perform scenes partially undressed while being filmed. Another student claimed that Franco had removed the required safety guards for filming an intimate scene in his independent drama The Long Home. Actress Violet Paley, who dated Franco for a time, confirmed that there had been occasions when Franco tried to pressure her into certain intimate acts against her will as well as his inviting a friend of hers (who was 17 at the time) to meet him at his hotel room.
Franco has been maintaining a low profile in Hollywood in the wake of the allegations. Anonymous sources close to the actor claim that he is “in a really bad place” in the wake of the bad publicity and that Franco has “been shaken up.” Franco did not attend the Critics’ Choice Awards, where he won Best Actor In A Comedy for his work on The Disaster Artist. He did, however, make an appearance at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, where he was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.
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