Bleats

James Franco Is Being Sued For Sexual Exploitation And The Allegations Will Make You Rage

Just another instance in a history of problematic behaviour.

The MeToo movement has been a watershed moment in Hollywood and now it’s pulled the curtain back on the problematic behaviour another famous celebrity: James Franco is getting sued for “harassment’ and “sexual exploitation.”

As reported by The New York Times, two women, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, who attended James Franco’s now-shuttered acting school, Studio 4, have filed a lawsuit against the actor alleging he and his partners “engaged in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior towards female students by sexualising their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects.”

It is alleged the “often young and inexperienced” women who attended Franco’s class were often “pressured” to perform simulated sex scenes that went beyond industry standards. Ms. Tither-Kaplan says not only was she often asked to appear in nude or sex scenes, she alleges Franco removed the plastic guards that covered actresses’ vaginas while he simulated oral sex on them.

Furthermore, prospective students for the actor’s sex scene class had to film an “audition” video – so he can review later – as well as sign away the rights to the recordings. The two women claim this pattern of behaviour led to an “environment of harassment and sexual exploitation” that took place “both in and out of the class.”

We shouldn’t be too surprised that James Franco is the latest victim of the MeToo movement given his history of reported problematic behaviour and alleged sexual exploitation.

In 2018, Tither-Kaplan and four other women spoke with the The Los Angeles Times about Franco’s behaviour and their claims of sexual misconduct is broadly similar to the instances outlined by The New York Times.

This story gained considerable attention at the time and was further bolstered when Tither-Kaplan and Violet Paley, one of the four women who spoke up about the actor’s alleged misconduct to the LA Times, tweeted about Franco after he appeared at the Golden Globes wearing a “Time’s Up” pin.

Going back even further, there was a pretty dodgy incident in 2014 when Franco was caught exchanging messages with a 17-year-old girl and later admitted he was trying to pick her up.

While Franco has publicly supported women’s rights and the MeToo movement when appearing at awards shows and on talk shows, Tither-Kaplan says she hasn’t seen any effort from the actor to learn or change his perspective.

“I can’t sleep at night knowing that my coming forward, originally, did not do the work that I wanted it to do yet.

“There still has been no action, publicly, that shows me that these people know what they did is wrong and harmful and can’t been repeated.”

Representatives for James Franco have yet to respond to the allegations outlined in the lawsuit at the time of writing.

Taika Waititi Proves You Can Be Woke, Funny And A Good Director Without Even Trying

Take note, Todd Phillips, it turns out it is possible to be both.

Joker director Todd Phillips stirred the pot up something fierce when he made comments that basically amounted to “all this woke culture is killing comedy!” which is why he’s given up making comedic films about frat boys in favour of making… whatever category Joker falls into.

It’s a bit of a hot take from the visionary behind groundbreaking comedies like *checks notes* The Hangover trilogy and Old School, and Taika Waititi has now weighed in on the discussion in typical Taika Waititi fashion.

Rather than issue a seven-page statement written in Notes about the relationship between “woke culture” (which isn’t a thing) and comedy or filming a “10 reasons why Todd Phillips is wrong” YouTube video, Taika clapped back with a simple three-word joke on Twitter:

If Taika had a mic in his hand, I can imagine him dropping it the instant he mashed that “send” button.

It’s one thing to have thousands of internet folk sharing their opinions about whether Todd Phillips is onto something about “woke culture” killing comedy or whether he’s just another privileged white man having a whinge, but it’s another having a well-respected comedy director like Taika Waititi weighing in on the matter.

Todd’s complaint about “woke culture” killing comedy falls a bit considering all the laughs Taika has brought to audiences with What We Do In The Shadows and Thor: Ragnarok.

And then there’s Jojo Rabbit where Taika literally played Adolf Hitler, proving that risky, satirical comedy films can still be funny without offending people even with the “woke culture” Todd claims is gripping audiences right now.

Perhaps Todd can take a leaf out of Taika’s book here because the New Zealander has proven it is possible to be woke, funny AND a good director, and you can do it without really trying or having a whinge.

Today I Learned: The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air Only Happened Because Will Smith Was Desperately Poor

From rags to riches to rags to even more riches.

Hollywood has its fair share of rags to riches stories, some of which are true and many of which are fake. For Will Smith though, it was more of a case of rags to riches to rags to even more riches and all of it wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for his terrible money management skills.

Will initially rose to fame and fortune back in the late 1980s under his rapping moniker “The Fresh Prince.” With the release of his hit hip-hop single ‘Parents Just Don’t Understand,’ he suddenly found himself with a Grammy award and huge pile of money in his lap.

Unsurprisingly, Will did what any young person who suddenly came into a heap of moolah did: spend it all recklessly. As he recalls in a YouTube vlog, there were motorbikes, cars and excessive spending on Gucci clothes, and soon he spent every cent he had.

Throw in a flop period in his rapping career and some serious money issues with the IRS because he “forgot” to pay enough income tax, the Fresh Prince was soon nothing more than plain ol’ Will Smith again.

After moping around for a bit, Will went to a taping of The Arsenio Hall Show at the suggestion of his then-girlfriend and met Benny Medina, a TV producer whose life formed the basis of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Through Benny, Will ended up meeting Quincy Jones, who was super keen on Will auditioning for a TV show that would eventually become The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Despite his reluctance to audition for the show because he had never acted before, Will did it anyway because he had nothing to lose and he desperately needed whatever money they offered him.

After auditioning on the spot to all the suits, Will Smith was cast as “Will Smith” in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air almost immediately and the first episode of the show was shot a mere three months later. From that point, his Hollywood career was established and the rest is history.

In short, if it wasn’t for Will Smith’s terrible money management skills and a chance meeting with some TV producers at a taping of some show his then-girlfriend pushed him to go to, we probably wouldn’t have gotten The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as we know it and Hollywood may have been robbed of one of the biggest stars of all time.

So the moral of the story: spend all your money and luck into a chance meeting with a TV producer. Okay, maybe it’s not a great moral but it’s a moral nonetheless.

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