Someone at Vanity Fair had the right idea and digitally removed actor James Franco from the cover of their upcoming Hollywood issue, according to TIME. Originally alongside other stars including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Michael B. Jordan and shot by celebrated photographer Annie Leibovitz, Franco was taken out of the photos before the cover was sent to production due to the sexual misconduct allegations made against him. In an official statement to the Hollywood Reporter, a spokesperson for the magazine said: “We made a decision not to include James Franco on the Hollywood cover once we learned of the misconduct allegations against him.”
The allegations came from five different women, four of them his students from an acting school he founded, who stated that Franco was "inappropriate or sexually exploitative" towards them.
Additionally, Twitter users started sharing screenshots of a conversation that went viral four years ago of James Franco trying to meet up with an underage girl.
Soon after winning a Golden Globe earlier this month for The Disaster Artist, the allegations, old and new, were brought to the forefront. This was at odds with the ongoing conversations about sexual assault that have been an integral part of this awards season so far, particularly since Franco accepted his award while wearing a Time's Up pin in solidarity with victims. This even prompted actress Scarlett Johansson to say she wants her pin back during her speech at this year's Women's March.
The cover now features a varied lineup of stars, all with big projects on the way for 2018. From left to right: Oprah Winfrey, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hanks, Michael B. Jordan, Zendaya, Jessica Chastain, Claire Foy, Michael Shannon, Harrison Ford, Gal Gadot, Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter, and Robert De Niro.
Franco has declined all comment requests from media.