“Whatever,” writer Jessica Valenti tweeted moments after James Franco won the Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
“I still remember James Franco trying to pick up a teenager on Instagram.”
Her tweet promptly went viral.
The 39-year-old actor won the award for his role as Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist and has been a major Hollywood star since his career began more than two decades ago.
At the 75th Golden Globes, however, Franco was branded a hypocrite.
In a black suit (which, sure, isn’t entirely radical) Franco pledged allegiance to the #MeToo movement in Hollywood, and on his left lapel he wore a pin that said: “Time’s Up”.
Those two words were the war cry chanted on the red carpet and on stage in Los Angeles, a vow to end the practice of sexual misconduct and the subsequent silence that works to protect it.
But many could not reconcile the demonstration taking place on the world stage with Franco’s past behaviour.
On Twitter and Facebook posts circulated about Franco’s relationships with “underage girls” with many referring to him as a “paedophile”.
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They presumably referred to an incident back in 2014, when a 17-year-old girl took a selfie with Franco, then 35, outside his Broadway show Of Mice and Men.
He asked her to tag him on Instagram, and later sent her a direct message, asking her age and if she had a boyfriend.
When he discovered she was 17, he asked if she would like to meet him at a hotel room.
No feature of this exchange is against the law.
Perhaps we can label it ‘creepy’. Perhaps a 35-year-old Hollywood star, should not be coming on to a young woman who has not yet finished high school.
Hey, remember when James Franco was creeping in the instagram dms of underage teenage girls and shit? Anyway he’s a Golden Globe winner this year -we’re just glad that everyone in that room is comfortable enough to crack jokes about predators tho ????
— Nerdy POC (@nerdypoc) January 8, 2018