James Franco is conspicuously missing from Vanity Fair’s Hollywood issue cover, and it’s been confirmed the actor’s absence is no accident.
When the magazine released its annual group photoshoot of stars dominating the awards season, an insider told The Hollywood Reporter they were surprised to see Franco not among the celebrities, since he’d been photographed and interviewed for the special edition.
When pressed, Vanity Fair confirmed Franco had been scrubbed from the image due to the sexual misconduct allegations made against him.
“We made a decision not to include James Franco on the Hollywood cover once we learned of the misconduct allegations against him,” a spokesperson said.
The Disaster Artist award-winner has said the allegations made against him by several female acting students that attended his classes and acted in some of Franco’s productions are “not accurate”, however he has admitted he wants to “listen and learn and change perspective where it’s off”.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan, a former acting student at the film school Franco founded who appeared in several of his productions, claims that on the set of his still unreleased film The Long Home, Franco removed plastic guards covering women’s genitals in a nude orgy scene and continued to simulate the sex act with no protection.
Another student actress, Violet Paley, says shortly after she began a romantic relationship with Franco, he pressured her into performing oral sex on him in a car.
“I was talking to him, all of a sudden his penis was out,” said Paley. “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.”
She said if the situation happened now, post #MeToo and Time’s Up, she would yell and get out of the car, but at the time “the power dynamic was really off.”
The allegations have brought Franco’s awards season-sweep to a grinding halt.
After winning Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes and Best Actor in a Comedy at the Critics Choice Awards, as well as being nominated for outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role at the Screen Actors Guild awards last week, he did not receive a single 2018 Oscar nomination.