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James Franco Responds to Sexual Harassment Allegations, Says Twitter Claims Are ‘Not Accurate’

http://www.indiewire.com/2018/01/james-franco-responds-sexual-harassment-allegations-twitter-1201915877/

After James Franco won the Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Golden Globe on Sunday evening while dressed in black and wearing a “Time’s Up” pin, referencing the legal aid initiative founded by women in Hollywood (including Natalie Portman, Shonda Rhimes, and Reese Witherspoon) for victims of sexual misconduct, allegations were waged against the filmmaker and actor by various women online. The comments came from actress Ally Sheedy, who worked with Franco on an off-Broadway play, along with at least two other women, Violet Paley and Sarah Tither-Kaplan.

While appearing on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on Tuesday evening, the late night host asked Franco about the allegations after a mostly lighthearted appearance and plenty of banter about Franco’s latest film, “The Disaster Artist.” Colbert’s entry point was a soft pitch to the embattled actor: he asked Franco if he understood why he had been criticized for wearing the pin.

“I wore it because I do support it,” he told Colbert. “Look, I was so excited to win, but being in that room that night, it was incredible. It was powerful, there were incredible voices. I support it, I support change.” Franco’s initial comments were met with applause by Colbert’s audience, before he then segued into tougher answers.

“There were some things on Twitter, I haven’t read them, I’ve heard about them,” he started. “Okay, first of all, I have no idea what I did to Ally Sheedy. I directed her in a play off-Broadway, I had nothing but a great time with her, total respect for her, I have no idea why she was upset. She took the tweet down, I don’t know. I can’t speak for her.”

He continued, “The others? Look, in my life, I pride myself for taking responsibility for things that I’ve done, I have to do that to maintain my well-being. I do it whenever I know that there’s something wrong that needs to be changed, I make it a point to do it. The things that I heard were on Twitter are not accurate, but I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice…I don’t want to shut them down in any way. I think it’s a good thing and I support it.”

Colbert then pressed Franco, asking him if he thought there was any way to “have this discussion that isn’t in social media” and if he had “any idea what the answer might be” when it comes to reconciling experiences that do not reflect those that Franco says he had.

“Like I said, if I– the way I live my life, I can’t live if there is restitution to be made, I will make it,” Franco said. “So, if I’ve done something wrong, I will fix it. I have to. I think that’s how that works. I don’t want else to do…I’m here to listen and learn, and change my perspective where it’s off. I’m completely willing, and want to.”

Earlier today (though likely before the taping of Colbert’s show), an upcoming TimesTalk with Franco was cancelled in the wake of the allegations.

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‘Paddington 2’ Is Now the Best-Reviewed Movie in Rotten Tomatoes History

http://www.indiewire.com/2018/01/paddington-2-rotten-tomatoes-reviews-2-1201919536/

Paddington loves marmalade sandwiches, and critics love Paddington — so much so, in fact, that “Paddington 2” is now the best-reviewed movie in Rotten Tomatoes history. The movie is 100% “fresh” on the review aggregator with 167 reviews, meaning it’s now surpassed “Toy Story 2” (which has a paltry 163 positive notices to its name). “Lady Bird” briefly held the same record last year until a single negative review came along; Greta Gerwig’s acclaimed coming-of-age drama now has 217 positive reviews total.

Paul King, who directed both “Paddington” movies, had this to say:

“The ‘Paddington’ films are a real labour of love. So many people pour their hearts and souls into them for months or even years, hand-crafting every last frame, and we are all incredibly grateful for the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve had so far. We hope it inspires people to go to the cinema to see for themselves if a talking animal film really can be any good, and whether Hugh Grant really can look devilishly handsome even while dressed as a nun. (Clue: yes.)”

Ben Whishaw voices the beloved bear, with Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, Brendan Gleeson, and Julie Walters co-starring. “Paddington 2” is now in theaters.


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