The Times provided the following statement to IndieWire: “The event was intended to be a discussion of the making of the film, ‘The Disaster Artist. Given the controversy surrounding recent allegations, we’re no longer comfortable proceeding in that vein.”
IndieWire reached out to James Franco’s representatives for comment and clarity; they have yet to respond.
James Franco won the Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Golden Globe on January 7 for his performance in the film. He attended the Beverly Hills ceremony 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. During the telecast, multiple women tweeted sexual harassment allegations against the filmmaker and actor, who is also a cast member and producer of HBO’s “The Deuce.”
One of Franco’s accusers is “The Breakfast Club Actress” Ally Sheedy, who James Franco directed in an off-Broadway production of “The Long Shrift” in 2014. Sheedy mentioned Franco in three now-deleted tweets during the Golden Globes telecast; the first read, “James Franco just won. Please never ask me why I left the film/tv business.” Another Twitter user, Violet Paley, was more direct in addressing harassment she has allegedly experienced from the star:
Cute #TIMESUP pin James Franco. Remember the time you pushed my head down in a car towards your exposed penis & that other time you told my friend to come to your hotel when she was 17? After you had already been caught doing that to a different 17 year old?
— Violet Paley (@VioletPaley) January 8, 2018
A couple weeks ago, James offered me & a few other girls an overdue, annoyed, convenient phone “apology”. I don’t accept, but maybe some other people’s lives would be made easier if he donated all of his earnings from “The Disaster Artist” to @RAINN01.
— Violet Paley (@VioletPaley) January 9, 2018
As was his former acting student, Sarah Tither-Kaplan:
Hey James Franco, nice #timesup pin at the #GoldenGlobes , remember a few weeks ago when you told me the full nudity you had me do in two of your movies for $100/day wasn’t exploitative because I signed a contract to do it? Times up on that!
— Sarah Tither-Kaplan (@sarahtk) January 8, 2018
The TimesTalk was to be moderated by Times culture writer Sopan Deb at the Kaufman Music Center’s Merkin Concert Hall in New York City on January 10.