James Franco's Accusers Detail Sexual Misconduct Allegations on Good Morning America

Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Violet Paley explain how the award-winning actor allegedly abused his power as their teacher at the Studio 4 film school

By Kendall Fisher Jan 23, 2018 8:05 PMTags

Two of James Franco's accusers are stepping forward with details of his alleged sexual misconduct

Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Violet Paley sat down with Good Morning America, opening up about how they attended Franco's acting classes at the Studio 4 film school where they claim to have both encountered experiences of sexual harassment. Franco has denied the accusations.

Tither-Kaplan said she was in Franco's master class on sex scenes. She said he'd add sex scenes and nude scenes to the original scripts that "seemed gratuitous and exploitative."

In fact, she claims that the women who refused to partake in the sex scenes or nude scenes were either asked to leave the class or weren't included on the projects.

Hollywood's Many Men Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Though she says she had some positive experiences with Franco, overall, Tither-Kaplan feels he abused his power by creating "exploitative environments for non-celebrity women that he worked with under the guise of giving them opportunities." 

Still, she wouldn't put him on the same level as Harvey Weinstein.

Paul Drinkwater/NBC

"James is absolutely not a Harvey Weinstein," Tither-Kaplan said. "He is not an unfeeling monster who has no sense of reality. He created exploitative environments for non-celebrity women on his sets, but I also think James is a very talented and valuable person."

Tither-Kaplan said she received an apology from Franco, but she hopes to see an end to these examples of sexual misconduct, which she feels are the catalysts for far more "heinous" acts of sexual violence.

Paley—who tweeted about Franco's "cute" Time's Up pin during the Golden Globes—claimed Franco pressured her into unwanted sexual acts. 

"He kind of like pushed my head down, and was like saying, 'Come on,'" she said. 

She went on to have a consensual sexual relationship with Franco, which she understands complicates the situation. 

"I'm regretful," she added. "I was young, and he was a celebrity that I looked up to." 

Alison Brie Addresses James Franco Allegations at SAG Awards
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Though Franco did not comment on the GMA story, he denied the allegations earlier this month. 

His attorney, Michael Plonsker, released a previous statement to the L.A. Times, denying Paley's accusations and calling them "not accurate." Plonsker also released a statement on behalf of Vince Jolivette—who co-owned the production company that ran Studio 4 Rabbit Bandini Productions—claiming the school was "always run professionally." He also said the "instructors were excellent" and that the "student feedback was positive."

However, the organization is still investigating complaints about the school.

Franco also addressed the multiple accusations on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in mid-January.

"In my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I've done. I have to do that to maintain my well-being," Franco said. "I do it whenever I know that there's something wrong or needs to be changed, and 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 want to shut them down in anyway. It's, I think, a good thing, and I support it."

However, Tither-Kaplan and Paley want more than that.

Tither-Kaplan would like to see Franco use his platform to give opportunities to valuable women. Paley is simply asking for an apology.