Vanity Fair has digitally removed James Franco from the cover of its annual Hollywood issue in the wake of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him. Franco was photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the cover and was set to appear opposite the likes of Michael B. Jordan, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Claire Foy, and Michael Shannon, but the publication decided to remove him.
Franco was accused of sexual misconduct by five women in a report from The Los Angeles Times published on January 11. Four of the accusers were Franco’s former acting students who say Franco created an environment on sets in which women faced sexually inappropriate and exploitative behavior. Franco has not commented publicly on the allegations outside of appearances on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and “Late Night With Seth Meyers.” He called the allegations “not accurate.”
Franco was widely considered to be a lock for a Best Actor Oscar nominations after earning a Golden Globe win and a Screen Actors Guild nomination in the same category. The Los Angeles Times published its report a day before Oscar nomination ballots were due. Franco was shut out of the Oscars when nominations were announced January 23.
“We made a decision not to include James Franco on the Hollywood cover once we learned of the misconduct allegations against him,” a Vanity Fair spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. The cover had already been assembled, so Franco was photoshopped out.
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) January 25, 2018