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    James Franco Defends "Provocative" Underwear Selfie on The Late Show: "It's What the People Want"

    This is getting awkward.

    On Thursday, Late Show host (and possible luddite) David Letterman asked guest James Franco to explain why he has an "affinity" for posting racy selfies on Instagram. "It sounds like you're a big enthusiast," the comedian noted. "What do you do? You take pictures of everything in your life?"

    "There's a lot to get straight here and I don't even know if we have time," said the Palo Alto actor, who is no stranger to social media scandals. "But to me, it's just a fun thing. It's something I don't put a ton of thought into, but it gets a lot of attention. I have a lot of followers on Instagram."

    Letterman then showed a recently deleted picture in which a shirtless James pulled down his briefs.

    "Awful," the Of Mice and Men actor remarked. "There's a lot to say about that."

    Why does he do it? "Like that Britney Spears shaved head moment, where it's sort of like, 'All right, you want me? Here you can have me, but I am going to be really ugly,'" he said. "You know what I mean?"

    NEWS: 14 times James Franco creeped people out on Instagram

    "First of all, let me just say there is not a person in this room who hasn't had their hand in their own pants," Letterman said. "I don't care what you do in your underpants, I just..."

    "That's the other thing!" James said, interrupting the CBS personality. "It's not like I'm putting that on billboards. Ostensibly, Instagram is for my fans. But now all the bloggers are following me on there so they'll just take it and use my images for whatever they want."

    Letterman said, "But you will be the first to admit, looking objectively, it's provocative."

    "I didn't ask you to look at it!" James shouted. "It's what the people want!"

    "Why is it my fault?" Letterman asked. "I had nothing to do with this."

    "If you don't want to see it, don't follow me," James pleaded. "Don't follow me on Instagram."

    PHOTOS: Hollywood roasts James Franco

    Recently, Dave Franco revealed he was clueless about his brother's online antics until the time came to promote Neighbors. "To be honest, I'm learning about his nude selfies on this press junket," he told E! News. "I'm not on social media so I don't see anything of these things coming up. Him posting a nude selfie seems like a more refined act on his part compared to other things he's done, so good on him."

    PHOTOS: James Franco's #selfies

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