Alison Brie defends brother-in-law James Franco

Sister-in-law and GLOW actress stands by James Franco after five women accuse The Disaster Artist star of sexually exploitative behaviour.

James Franco appeared at the SAG Awards last night, as he was nominated for Best Actor for his role in The Disaster Artist.

During a red carpet interview with E!, his sister-in-law, GLOW actress Alison Brie, defended the star, who is the brother of Brie’s husband, Dave Franco.

“I think that above all what we’ve always said is that it remains vital that anyone that feels victimized should and does have the right to speak out and come forward,” Brie said. “I obviously support my family, and not everything that’s been reported has been accurate, so I think we’re waiting to get all the information. But of course now is the time for listening, and that’s what we are all trying to do.”

Five women have accused Franco, who was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in The Disaster Artist, of sexually exploitative behaviour.

In an article published by The Los Angeles Times earlier this month, five women accused Franco of abusing his power as an acting teacher and mentor in a sexually exploitative manner.

Two students claimed the actor often tried to coerce them into filming scenes topless, becoming angry when they refused, while another former acting student at the film school Franco founded said he once removed safety guards while filming an oral sex scene on the set of the 2015 film The Long Home.

Actress Violet Paley also repeated claims she had previously made on social media, asserting that Franco exposed himself and tried to pressure her into oral sex. Paley said that she and Franco did have a consensual relationship, but “that time wasn’t consensual.” She also alleged that he told her friend to meet him in a hotel when the friend was 17.

During an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Franco addressed the accusations.

“Look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I have done,” Franco told Colbert. “I have to do that to maintain my well being. 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.”

Franco repeated these sentiments during an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, telling Meyers that “There are people that need to be heard. I have my own side of this story,” Franco continued, “but I believe in these people that have been underrepresented getting their stories out enough that I will hold back things that I could say, just because I believe in it that much,” he said. “So if I have to take a knock because I’m not going to try and actively refute things, then I will, because I believe in it that much.”

Franco was also criticized on the biggest stage of the weekend, during a Women’s March rally Saturday in Los Angeles that drew 500,000 participants.

Speaking to the crowd, actress Scarlett Johansson addressed what she saw as Franco’s hypocrisy.

“How could a person publicly stand by an organization that helps to provide support for victims of sexual assault while privately preying on people who have no power?” said Johansson, one of the 300 original signers of the Time’s Up letter. “I want my pin back, by the way.”

Franco was beaten in his category by Gary Oldman, who won best Actor for his role in Darkest Hour.

 

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