Three years ago, several women accused James Franco of sexual misconduct after whispers of the actor’s alleged actions circulated Hollywood for a while. Now, Seth Rogen has gone on the record that he no longer wants to work with Franco, saying the allegations have “changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic.”
Allegations of sexual misconduct and assault against Franco first arose online in January 2018 after he won an award at the Golden Globes while wearing a Time’s Up pin. A few days later, five women — included two former film students who attended his acting school Studio 4 — spoke to The Los Angeles Times to recount their on-set experiences, including a moment when Franco allegedly demanded the female actresses strip naked. Two of those women filed a lawsuit against the 43-year-old director in 2019 and, as of this February, have since dropped their charges in light of a settlement agreement.
In a new interview with The Sunday Times, Rogen addressed claims made by actor Charlyne Yi that he had “enabled” Franco’s behavior on the set of 2017’s The Disaster Artist. Yi planned to quit the movie because she didn’t feel safe working with Franco, but producers bribed her with a bigger role to stay and she claims Rogen “definitely [knew] about the bribe and why I quit.”
“What I can say is that I despise abuse and harassment and I would never cover or conceal the actions of someone doing it, or knowingly put someone in a situation where they were around someone like that,” said Rogen. “However, I do look back at a joke I made on Saturday Night Live in 2014 and I very much regret making that joke. It was a terrible joke, honestly. And I also look back to that interview in 2018 where I comment that I would keep working with James, and the truth is that I have not and I do not plan to right now.”
When asked if ending his professional relationship with Franco right now was a coincidence, Rogen firmly denied such. “No. It is not a coincidence,” he said. “I don’t know if I can define [our personal relationship] right now during this interview. I can say it, um, you know, it has changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic.”
It’s hard to imagine Rogen and Franco not being friends because the two have been working alongside one another since the very beginning of their careers. Both made their acting debut in Judd Apatow’s cult-favorite TV show Freaks and Geeks before starring alongside one another in Pineapple Express, This Is the End, The Interview, Sausage Party, and more. They have not collaborated together since working on The Disaster Artist.