The stars were ripped to shreds after co-hosting the 2011 Oscars, with Roger Ebert writing that Franco looked like "a deer-in-the-headlights" and The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman arguing that the two actors were responsible for "one of the worst Oscar telecasts in history." Five years later, in the Apr. 18, 2016 issue of New York, Franco reflected on the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. "When Anne Hathaway decided to host the Oscars with me…She had said no before, and then they asked me to ask her, and I said, 'Let's just do it. It'll be an adventure,' and then we got a lot of s--t for it," he recalled. "I probably got more than she did, but she got a lot."
Franco said neither he nor Hathaway were entirely to blame for the poorly reviewed show. "I think one of the things that happens in film and television and performance-based things is that people will criticize the performers because they're the face of the piece," he said. To prove his point, Franco said, "We didn't write the script. In other cases, someone like Steve Martin or Chris Rock will probably have a bigger hand in the writing of the thing, but Anne and I did not."