Sunday night at the Golden Globes was all about the #TimesUp movement, with almost everyone wearing black and many wearing #TimesUp pins to protest sexual harassment, assault, and inequality in the workplace.
However, people on Twitter were quick to point out that some of the "male allies" in the room wearing all black and #TimesUp pins are actually the opposite of that — especially James Franco.
Franco wasn't just an attendee at the award show; he actually won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for his work in "The Disaster Artist."
But Franco's win didn't sit well for many viewers at home. "The Breakfast Club" star Ally Sheedy was particularly disturbed, tweeting, “Why is James Franco allowed in? Said too much." She then tweeted, “James Franco just won. Please never ever ask me why I left the film/tv business," using the #MeToo hashtag. The tweets were admittedly vague, but definitely seemed to hint at her own "MeToo" experience with the star.
Although she later deleted the tweets, they quickly went viral.
So when Franco went on Stephen Colbert's talk show to discuss "The Disaster Artist," these rumors were naturally brought up — and Franco's denial was, well, awkward to say the least, as he fumbled through a statement, visibly flustered.
"OK, first of all: I have no idea what I did to Ally Sheedy," he insisted. "I directed her in a play off-Broadway. I had nothing but a great time with her, total respect for her. I have no idea why she was upset. She took the tweet down, I don't know. I can't speak for her, I don't know."
Franco then said the other stories were "not accurate," but also talked about wanting to make things right.
"The others, look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I've done. I have to do that to maintain my well-being. I do it whenever I know that there's something wrong or needs to be changed, and I make it a point to do it. 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. I don't want to shut them down in anyway. I think [it's] a good thing and I support it," he claimed.
He continued, "The way I live my life—I can't live if there's restitution to be made. I will make it. So, if I've done something wrong, I will fix it. I have to. I think that's how it works. I don't know what else to do... I'm here to listen and learn and change my perspective where it's off. I'm completely willing, and I want to."
Franco's denial is interesting, especially his talk of wanting to take responsibility, in light of Paley's claim that he's recently called several women to apologize.
While it's good that Franco says he doesn't want to shut down people speaking out about sexual assault, his response was confusing, to say the least. The way he discusses "restitution" is just vague and open-ended enough to leave room for questions.
Let's hope that when he says he's willing to listen, he's really able to.