In a new Los Angeles Times report, James Franco has been accused of "sexually exploitative behavior" by numerous women.
The Times spoke with five women for their story, four of whom are former students of Franco and another who described Franco as her "mentor." Sarah Tither-Kaplan, a former student at a film school Franco founded, accused Franco of removing protective plastic guards while filming simulated oral sex during an orgy scene. "I feel there was an abuse of power, and there was a culture of exploiting non-celebrity women, and a culture of women being replaceable," said Tither-Kaplan, who previously called Franco out on Twitter.
During a shoot for what at least one student had reportedly been told was an "art film," two women alleged, Franco became angry when actresses declined to take their shirts off. "He just took advantage of our eagerness to work and be a part of something bigger," former student Natalie Chmiel said.
The Times also spoke with Hilary Dusome, Katie Ryan, and Violet Paley. Previously, surrounding Franco's Golden Globes win for The Disaster Artist, Paley tweeted criticism of Franco's decision to wear a Time's Up pin and accused him of sexual misconduct. Read the full Times report here.
In addition to denying the allegations included in Thursday's Times report, Franco's attorney Michael Plonsker pointed to comments his client made earlier this week on the Late Show. "The others, look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I've done," he said at the time. "I have to do that to maintain my wellbeing. I do it whenever I know that there is something wrong or needs to be changed. 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. So I don't wanna shut them down in any way. It's, I think, a good thing and I support it."
Franco spoke similarly on the subject on Wednesday night's episode of Late Night With Seth Meyers.