James Franco feels "hurt" after being accused of sexual misconduct by several women, while his friends are anxious about him as he has retreated from the public eye amid the scandal, which comes at the height of awards season.
Presenter of the award and Vice Principals star Walton Goggins accepted the award on the 39-year-old's behalf.
Four of the women who've accused James Franco of sexually inappropriate behavior were students of his. She said she pretended to see a stranger walking past in order to stop what was happening. "I got really nervous, and I said, 'Can we do this later?' He was kind of nudging my head down, and I just didn't want him to hate me, so I did it".
"The power dynamic was way off", she recalled.
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Franco is alleged to have engaged in exploitative behavior with young women who took classes at his now-closed Studio 4 acting school, which recruited actors keen for a break to appear in projects that involved nudity. Franco's attorney said the allegations are "not accurate". At the time, Franco said he was "embarrassed" by the situation, and social media was "tricky".
Tither-Kaplan told reporters that during a nude orgy scene she filmed with Franco, he removed the plastic guards covering several actresses' genitalia. "It's such bulls-t", she said.
When James Franco's name was read out as the victor of Best Actor in a Comedy for "The Disaster Artist" at last night's Critics' Choice Awards, he wasn't there to accept. The two women say what happened next was a "hostile and unprofessional" video shoot at an LA strip club. Both said Franco became angry when no women, while at the shoot, would agree to be topless.
Several of Franco's collaborators defended him from some of the claims. He went on to say that "I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice, because they didn't have a voice for so long".
Franco has been a fixture on this season's Hollywood awards show circuit for his lead performance in The Disaster Artist.
The news outlet said in a statement that "given the controversy surrounding recent allegations", it had canceled the discussion, according to The Associated Press.
In the wide-ranging article from the Los Angeles Times, former students of the actor talk about feeling exploited for what they perceived as career advancement.
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