Seth Rogen made headlines in May when he confirmed he has no plans to work with James Franco again following myriad allegations of sexual misconduct against his “Freaks and Geeks” co-star and frequent collaborator. Busy Philipps, on the press circuit now for her Peacock series “Girls5eva” and also a co-star on the beloved “Freaks and Geeks,” recently addressed the split between Franco and Rogen on The Daily Beast’s “The Last Laugh” podcast.
“I have to say, I mean, it’s interesting. They were super close and they had a very tight relationship. And so I don’t have any information. I mean, I’m going to say something now, whatever — Seth is married to a very fucking smart woman,” Philipps said.
In her memoir “This Will Only Hurt a Little” published in 2018, Philipps recounted an incident on the set of “Freaks and Geeks” where she said Franco physically assaulted her. The encounter allegedly involved Franco physically grabbing her and screaming in her face.
In the Daily Beast interview, Philipps said she was “surprised” by Rogen’s announcement, but added, “Although, to be honest with you, I haven’t spent my days doing deep dives into what it all was. I didn’t work with James past age 20, so I can only speak to the horrible behavior I experienced.”
Philipps added that accusations against Franco, which date back as far as 2014, seem “very believable.” 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.
As for Rogen’s decision to cut ties with Franco, Philipps said, “I can’t speculate on their friendship, but I wouldn’t want to work with someone who has multiple allegations of predatory behavior. So, in fact, I won’t.”
When asked if Hollywood has seen any changes in the wake of the #MeToo movement, Philipps said, “I think at this point, I’m not at risk. I’m an almost 42-year-old woman who wrote a book where I named names of the people who were fucking dicks to me. So I don’t think that I’m the person to ask about whether the industry has changed. Because I would assume that people are going to be smart enough to not fuck with me.”
She added, “But also I’m not an ingenue coming onto the scene, or a young woman coming onto the scene wanting to work and make it happen. The predators, I’m sure, still exist, and a few of the big ones have been rooted out, thank god, but whether there’s a reckoning, I don’t know.”