James Franco was forced to confront the sexual harassment allegations against him during a visit on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” The actor-director told Stephen Colbert earlier in the week that the accusations were “not accurate,” a statement he stood by while speaking to Meyers about the issue. But Franco also remained adamant about believing women’s stories and told Meyers that if his career has to take a knock because he won’t “actively refute” the allegations then so be it.
“One of the things that I’ve learned is that this is a conversation that obviously needs to be had,” Franco said. “If I have to take a knock because I am not going to try and actively refute things then I will, because I believe in [people’s stories being heard] that much.”
When pressed about the tweet that was published and then deleted by Ally Sheedy, which included Franco’s name along with the #MeToo hashtag, Franco said he “had a great relationship” with the actress but did not comment further. Meyers asked if Franco would reach out to Sheedy personally, but he said he did not know.
“I guess I’m just letting it be,” Franco said.
Meyers then asked if the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements had Franco questioning any of his previous behavior towards women.
“I think what I really learned this week, and being here and being at the [Globes], it was so powerful in there,” Franco said. “There are stories that need to get out. There are people that need to be heard. I have my own side of this story, but I believe in these people who have been underrepresented getting their stories out enough that I will hold back what I could say just because I believe in it that much.”
The morning after Franco’s appearance on Meyers’ show, the Los Angeles Times published a report in which five women went on record accusing the actor of sexually inappropriate and exploitative behavior. Four of the accusers are Franco’s former acting students, while the fifth woman viewed Franco as a mentor to her.
The majority of the women described uncomfortable encounters with Franco on film sets in which the actor would pressure women into appearing nude and would grow frustrated when they refused. One woman, Violet Paley, says Franco pressured her into performing oral sex on him while sitting in her car in 2016. Another woman, Sarah Tither-Kaplan, was acting in Franco’s film “The Long Home” during an orgy scene when she observed Franco allegedly remove clear plastic guards that covered actresses’ vaginas “to simulate the sex act with no protection.”
Watch Franco’s appearance on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” below.