The way James Franco has responded to allegations of sexual assault are earning him praise from one of the leaders of the Time’s Up Movement.
Ashley Judd calls Franco’s response to take responsibility and support people speaking out, “terrific”.
“I think that what James said is terrific,” the long-time advocate for women’s rights and sexual assault survivor tells the BBC. “I think that we’ve all behaved, at a certain level, unconsciously, and done things that were insensitive, inappropriate, without necessarily understanding that they were. I mean, we’ve all operated with a certain amount of tone deafness, and I like the culpability, and we have to have restorative justice.”
Speaking in support of the way Franco handled the accusations, Judd adds, “This is about men and women being all together and having a more equitable and just workplace, home life, social spaces. I mean, we know that when women are empowered in the workplace and are in decision-making positions that workplaces have better financial outcomes and there’s less harassment when there is more diversity,” she says. “And it takes that kind of individual accountability to collectively make the change on a large scale.”
Controversy surrounding Franco erupted during the Golden Globes when two women, including “The Breakfast Club” actress Ally Sheedy, alluded to his inappropriate behaviour. Days later, five women accused “The Disaster Artist” star of abusing his power as a mentor and acting teacher.
Franco has denied the accusations of the women, telling Stephen Colbert during an appearance on his show Tuesday, “The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate. But I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice because they didn’t have a voice for so long. So I don’t want to shut them down in any way.”
One day later on “Late Night With Seth Meyers”, Franco again addressed the allegations, emphasizing the importance of victims speaking out.
“There are people that need to be heard,” he told host Seth Meyers on Wednesday. “I have my own side of this story, but I believe in these people that have been underrepresented getting their stories out enough that I will hold back things that I could say, just because I believe in it that much. So if I have to take a knock because I’m not going to try and actively refute things, then I will, because I believe in it that much.”