What happened with James Franco and Seth Rogen?
Seth Rogen has no plans to work with frequent and longtime collaborator James Franco following sexual misconduct allegations against the actor. Speaking to Britain's Sunday Times, Rogen said he regretted saying in a 2018 interview he would still work with Franco following the allegations, which Franco has denied. USA TODAYSeth Rogen has no plans to work with James Franco following sexual misconduct 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.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images; Matt Winkelmeyer/BAFTA LA/Getty Images Seth Rogen and James Franco
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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ViceIn I, Sniper, Lee Boyd Malvo speaks at length about the 2002 reign of terror he and partner John Allen Muhammad carried out in the Washington, D.C., area, resulting in ten deaths. Yet despite using audio clips from his phone calls as narration, Vice’s eight-part docuseries (premiering May 10) is most notable for putting its prime emphasis on the pair’s innocent victims, and the countless friends, family members and loved ones left to cope with unthinkable tragedy. To its admirable credit, it’s a true-crime affair that seeks to understand its “monsters” while simultaneously recognizing—and highlighting—the fact that such comprehension doesn’t necessitate empathy, especially when the atrocities in question are as inexcusably heinous as these.Spearheaded by director Ursula Macfarlane, I, Sniper’s calling card is those phone conversations with Malvo from Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison, where he’s currently serving multiple life sentences. In them, the killer recounts, in exacting and chilling detail, both the sniper attacks he perpetrated as a 17-year-old, and the troubled upbringing in Jamaica that led him into the welcoming arms of Muhammad, a Gulf War veteran with a surplus of rage and a desire to unleash it on his homeland. Abandoned by his dad, abused by his mom, and eventually left to fend for himself, Malvo found in Muhammad a father figure who promised to love him as he did his own biological offspring. From the outset, though, theirs was a bond built on exploitation, with Muhammad becoming not only Malvo’s surrogate parent, but also his lover—as well as his mentor, pouring all of his long-simmering hate and resentment into the impressionable, desperate-for-acceptance teen.The Tragic End to Wrestling’s First Great ‘Madman’Muhammad’s gripes were many—he despised the military, white people, and just about every American institutional structure. However, he reserved his greatest enmity for second ex-wife Mildred, who dared to take back her kids after Muhammad had kidnapped them. The loss of his (abducted) brood seems to have been the proverbial match that lit Muhammad’s homicidal spark, and he soon began molding Malvo into his instrument of destruction. Friends and relatives suspected that something was up with their relationship, but no one foresaw what was to come: the cold-blooded murder of Keenya Cook, the niece of Mildred’s friend in Tacoma, Washington, followed by violent robberies, shootings and slayings in Arizona, Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia. All of those initial acts were merely a test run for Malvo and Muhammad’s grand scheme in Washington, D.C., the epicenter of American power, and thus Muhammad’s venue of choice to strike fear into the heart of the republic by proving that everyone was vulnerable—even children.What transpired was a 22-day nightmare in which 13 individuals (white and Black, young and old, well-off and working-class) were shot, 10 of them fatally, in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Because Malvo and Muhammad’s intention was to terrorize in increasingly escalating fashion, each victim was chosen at random at gas stations, on street corners, and in parking lots that afforded the killers ideal vantage points and easy escape routes. They committed these crimes in a customized 1990 blue Chevy Caprice, with Malvo lying in the trunk and firing through the rear keyhole. It was a stealthy plot, and the two benefited from the fact that an early eyewitness said they’d seen a white box truck near the scene—thereby sending police, for the better part of the next three weeks, on a wild goose chase for the wrong vehicle. With no other ballistics-related leads, law enforcement was stymied, which proved to Malvo that Muhammad was right: no one could stop them from exacting their revenge.The question, of course, is revenge against what? I, Sniper connects the dots of Malvo and Muhammad’s troubled pasts and despicable 2002 presents, but no convincing argument is made that Muhammad—the mastermind behind this madness—had suffered losses that weren’t of his own making. Be it his unhinged military tenure, his marital craziness, or his transformation of Malvo into an assassin, Muhammad comes across as a man righteously angry over things that were his own fault. As for Malvo, his cold, clinical recitation of his murderous conduct (and claims of remorse) neuters any sorrow one might feel for his adolescent travails. His present-day compunction is far too little, too late, just as the case he makes for his own victimhood vis-à-vis Muhammad sounds like an accurate and yet insufficient explanation. He knew that gunning down men, women and children was dreadfully wrong, and yet in order to maintain Muhammad’s affection, he actively, and enthusiastically, chose to do it—and even got a thrilling kick from it, as he explains that post-shooting sex with Muhammad was exceptionally exciting.Malvo and Muhammad’s rampage of “retribution and punishment” was unforgivable; as Montgomery County Police Chief Charles A. Moose says, “There’s just no excuse for their behavior. None whatsoever.” To hammer home that point, I, Sniper consistently juxtaposes Malvo’s recollections with prolonged, heartrending interviews with the wives, brothers, aunts and friends of the duo’s victims, as well as some of those who survived their encounters. Those accounts turn out to be vital, providing an up-close-and-personal view of the anguish and trauma that Malvo and Muhammad brought about, and the lingering scars left by this ordeal. They’re the human face of this awful tale, stricken with grief, regret, guilt and fury over senseless crimes that robbed them of loved ones who were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time.Comprised of news reports, crime scene footage, 911 calls, Malvo-penned illustrations, maps and chats with patrolmen, detectives, reporters and doctors, I, Sniper is comprehensive enough to earn the description “definitive.” Yet more than its insight into the mind of its young subject—and, by extension, Muhammad, who was executed in 2009 by lethal injection—what separates it from much of the true-crime pack is its dogged refusal to forget the real, incalculable horror at the center of its story. Malvo is frequently heard but never seen, while the countenances of his and Muhammad’s victims (and those close to them) remain front-and-center throughout. That directorial decision is critical and commendable, allowing the series to pay fitting tribute to the individuals who deserve to be remembered, while keeping its central villain largely faceless, in the dark and out of sight, where he chose to live and kill with his murderous mentor, and where he’ll now remain for the remainder of his days.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
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Read full article at Los Angeles Times
10 May, 2021 - 11:11am
“I have not and I do not plan to [work with Franco] right now,” Rogen, 39, told the U.K.’s Sunday Times on Sunday, May 9. “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.”
Last month, Yi detailed why she tried to quit the pair’s film The Disaster Artist in an Instagram post. After calling Franco, 43, a “sexual predator,” she called out Rogen specifically for not holding Franco accountable for his actions.
“Enablers are just as toxic and are abusers too,” the Second Act star, 35, wrote on April 8.
The 127 Hours actor was accused of propositioning a 17-year-old girl via Instagram in 2014. At the time, the Canada native made a joke about the situation on Saturday Night Live.
“I very much regret making that joke. It was a terrible joke, honestly,” Rogen told the Sunday Times.
Four years later, five women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Franco in January 2018. Weeks after the allegations came to light, the Yearbook author said “yes” when asked if he’d work with his longtime collaborator again. Now that he’s changed his mind, Rogen said his new outlook is “not a coincidence.”
Since starring together in Freaks and Geeks in 1999, the actors have collaborated on multiple projects. While the allegations have affected their friendship, the Houseplant founder can’t say for sure whether their personal relationship is over.
“I don’t know if I can define that right now,” Rogen said. “[The allegations] have changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic.”
Earlier this year, Franco reached a settlement in the 2018 sexual assault lawsuit. According to court documents obtained by Us Weekly in February, two of his former acting students decided to drop their claims.
Days before the allegations came to light in January 2018, the Palo Alto author spoke out about the 2014 misconduct claim on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
“In my life, I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I’ve done. I have to do that to maintain my well-being. I do it whenever I know that there is something wrong or needs to be changed, I make it a point to do it,” he said. “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. I don’t want to, you know, shut them down in any way. It’s, I think, a good thing and I support it.”
Us Weekly has reached out to Franco for comment.
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10 May, 2021 - 08:44am
Seth Rogen says he has no plans to work with James Franco again following multiple accusations of misconduct against his friend and frequent movie collaborator.
That is in contrast to what Rogen said in 2018, when asked the same question after multiple women accused Franco of misbehavior. At the time, Rogen said he would continue to work with his friend.
“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,” Rogen told The Sunday Times.
Franco and two of his former acting students, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, settled a lawsuit in February in which they accused the actor of intimidating them into gratuitous and exploitative sexual situations. The two former students of Franco’s Playhouse West Studio 4 said in a 2019 lawsuit that the class was a front in which Franco and his business partners, Vince Jolivette and Jay Davis, could take advantage of young female performers. They said that Franco asserted his influence as an instructor by offering them parts in movies that never materialized or were never released, even with the expectation that Franco would star in some of the projects.
The lawsuit said the incidents occurred in a master class on sex scenes that Franco taught at Studio 4, which opened in 2014 and closed in 2017. According to the suit, Franco and the other defendants’ behavior with students “led to an environment of harassment and sexual exploitation both in and out of the class.”
Tither-Kaplan was one of the five accusers listed in a 2018 report from the Los Angeles Times about Franco regarding what the women said was a pattern of the actor’s inappropriate and abusive sexual behavior. In that report, she told the Times she was cast as a prostitute in 2015 in an as-yet-unreleased feature called “The Long Home” and then asked to perform a “bonus scene” depicting an orgy in which Franco would simulate oral sex on several women.
Rogen and Franco have co-starred together in movies like “Pineapple Express,” “The Interview” and “This Is the End,” among others. Currently, Rogen said he is unable to “define” his personal relationship with Franco.
“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,” he said.
Read the full Sunday Times interview here.