James Franco Was The 24th SAG Awards' Elephant In The Room
James Franco showed up at the 24th SAG Awards held on January 21 despite battling accusations of him engaging in sexually coercive and abusive behavior towards women he worked with.
The 39-year-old actor and artist may have come home triumphant after bagging the Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy award at the Golden Globe Awards two weeks ago, but the victory proved to be short-lived after multiple women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct just days after.
Most of these women were his students and trainees enrolled at his now-defunct film school. Their accounts detailed how Franco, whom they considered their mentor, removed genital guards during scenes that had him simulate oral sex on them, got angry when they refused to be filmed topless, and suggested that one way to get their careers moving forward was to give in to sexual favors.
The accusations prompted Franco to skip the Critics' Choice Awards held last week where he similarly won the award for Best Actor in a Comedy. As the world wondered if he would also sit out the SAG Awards, he surprised many by choosing to attend the ceremony.
Franco was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role at the SAG Awards, but came home empty-handed. This came as a relief as it would have most likely been awkward, to say the least, to listen to his acceptance speech when other winners of the night focused their speeches on addressing Hollywood's sexual misdeeds.
Franco attended the awards show with girlfriend Isabel Pakzad, brother Dave, as well as sister-in-law and fellow SAG award nominee, Alison Brie. The camera did pan over him as his name was called for his nomination, and the audience offered polite applause.
While Franco did not speak to the press during the awards show, Alison Brie was interviewed by E News' Giuliana Rancic and said, "Not everything that has been reported is fully accurate, so I think we’re waiting to get all the information. But of course now is a time for listening and that’s what we’re all trying to do."
All eyes have been on Franco since actress Scarlett Johansson seemingly called him out at the January 20 Women's March. "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?” she asked, before saying that she "wanted her pin back," referring to the Time's Up pin that men, including Franco, wore to the Golden Globes in support of the #MeToo movement.
Franco, who has been reported to be gravely affected by his situation, has denied the allegations surrounding him and has described them as "not accurate."