Actress Charlyne Yi has spoken out about her experience making the 2017 film “The Disaster Artist,” directed by James Franco, via Instagram this week. In the post, Yi calls out the “predatory” and “toxic” behavior that took place during the film’s making, when she says she tried to quit over sexual misconduct allegations being levied at James Franco at the time. She also singles out one of the film’s producers, Seth Rogen, as being among “enablers” who need to be held “accountable.”
Yi, who played costume designer Safowa Bright-Asare in the film about the making of Tommy Wiseau’s cult favorite “The Room,” said that she tried to “break legal contract” to quit the movie over allegations about Franco. But she said the filmmakers “minimized” her concerns and “said Franco being a predator was so last yr [sic] and that he changed… when I literally heard of him abusing new women that week.” Yi said they “tried to bribe me with a bigger acting role” to keep her involved in the project, which was “the exact opposite of what I wanted.”
“Enablers are just as toxic and are abusers too,” Yi wrote. “Disgusted by white men choosing power over protecting children and women from predators. Educate, organize, and dismantle corruption in your circles and in the law.”
She also added, “White men saying it’s not their responsibility when holding Franco accountable, or when holding Seth Rogen and enablers accountable. Then whose responsibility is it? The women and children who have PTSD from Franco? Or the future targets of abuse?”
Yi said she was sharing the post as part of Sexual Assault Awareness month. In a caption to the post, she added, “Seth Rogen was one of the producers on this film so he definitely knows about the bribe and why I quit. Seth also did a sketch on ‘SNL’ with Franco enabling Franco preying on children. Right after Franco was caught. Franco has a long history of preying on children. This is on top all the corrupt laws that protect predators made by violent white men.”
Franco has been plagued by accusations of sexual misconduct dating as far back as 2014, when a 17-year-old girl shared screenshots of messages exchanged between her and Franco, then 35, that showed him trying to arrange a meeting in a hotel room. Franco confirmed the messages and apologized. In 2018, the Los Angeles Times published an exhaustive report of five women accusing Franco of sexual misconduct at his acting school, Studio 4. Two of the women filed lawsuits that were settled this year. Franco, meanwhile, denied the allegations.
Representatives for James Franco and Seth Rogen did not immediately respond to IndieWire’s request for comment.
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