Why Ashley Judd Thinks James Franco’s Response to Misconduct Allegations Is ‘Terrific’

In 2017, women in Hollywood began to come forward to launch claims of inappropriate encounters and sexual harassment against some of the industry’s most powerful men. In 2018, many actresses showed up to the first major awards ceremony of the year, the Golden Globes, dressed in all black. Many were supported by their male counterparts who donned pins which read: “Time’s Up.” However, one of those men who proudly displayed the pin has now been accused of misconduct himself.

James Franco is currently facing allegations of sexual misconduct himself and was recently asked directly about the allegations against him. His response has garnered a reaction from Ashley Judd, who is one of the most recognizable faces of the #MeToo movement. Here is what Franco had to say and why Judd is so pleased with his reaction.

The allegations made against Franco

Actor James Franco arrives for the 75th Golden Globe Awards on January 7, 2018, in Beverly Hills, California.

After an exciting win at the Golden Globes, Franco came under fire. | Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

After Franco won for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes on Jan. 7, 2018, the internet lit up with allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Actress Violet Paley‏ tweeted that Franco “pushed my head down in a car towards [his] exposed penis.” She also made an accusation that the actor tried to get her underage friend to go to a hotel with him.

In addition to Paley’s claims, The Breakfast Club star Ally Sheedy took to Twitter to express shock that someone like Franco was even “allowed” to attend the award ceremony. Sheedy has since deleted her tweets.

Next: Franco responds to the claims.

He responded to the accusations made on Twitter

James Franco on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

James Franco responded to the allegations on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. | CBS

The actor responded to the accusations when he appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He said he wore the pin because he supports the movement, and when speaking specifically about Sheedy’s tweet, he told the host that he did not know why she was upset with him.

He then addressed the other allegations made on social media and said they were “not accurate,” also explaining:

The others, in my life, I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I’ve done. The things 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. It’s, I think, a good thing, and I support it.

Next: The actor said he’s “holding back.”

Franco won’t give his side to the story

James Franco as Mr. B and Emma Roberts as April looking at each other in Palo Alto

Did James Franco already tell us his feelings about adult men and underage girls in Palo Alto? | Tribeca Films

The star also sat down with Seth Meyers in January and was asked again about the accusations. This time, he said he was going to “hold back,” instead of sharing his version of what happened.

He said:

There are people that need to be heard. 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.

Next: This actress, a face of the #MeToo movement, applauded his response. 

Ashley Judd praised Franco’s remarks

Actress Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd is speaking up. | Jemal Countess/Getty Images

His comments on late night TV caught the attention of Judd, who was one of the first women to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct in 2017. In an interview with BBC’s HARDtalk, the actress praised Franco for his remarks.

“I think that what James said is terrific,” she told journalist Stephen Sackur. “And 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.”

Next: Franco got even more credit.

The Lily also credited Franco for comments

James Franco in a jacket and hat on the red carpet.

Despite receiving credit for his response, Franco will likely face more scrutiny in the weeks to come. | Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Franco also got credit from the woman’s newspaper The Lily for the way he handled the initial questioning from Colbert and the fact that he didn’t “completely fumble his answer.”

The publication credited The Late Show host as well for bringing up the topic, but made it a point to note that more still needs to be done.

Next: The event for his new movie was canceled. 

His panel for The Disaster Artist was canceled

James Franco in The Disaster Artist

Franco has received a lot of praise for his portrayal of Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist. | A24

While Franco didn’t cancel his appearances on late night talk shows after the allegations came out, some outlets did cancel press events with him.

The New York Times decided not to move forward with his TimesTalk panel, which he and his The Disaster Artist co-star and brother, Dave Franco, were scheduled for. The publication said its reasoning for canceling the event was due to “the controversy surrounding [the] recent allegations.”

Next: He skipped the next awards show. 

Franco was noticeably absent from an awards show

James Franco and Seth Rogen onstage during The Comedy Central Roast of James Franco

Is Franco (right, pictured here with friend and collaborator Seth Rogen in 2013) laying low? | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

A damning report by the Los Angeles Times was published on Jan. 11, 2018, in which five more women accused Franco of sexual misconduct while they studied under him at film school. Franco has not spoken out on those accusations of sexual and inappropriate behavior, but the report was enough to keep him from attending the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards that same day.

Franco won the Best Actor in a Comedy, but since he was a no-show, the award was accepted on his behalf.

Follow Michelle Kapusta on Twitter @philamichelle.

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