James Franco failed to receive a single nod at the 2018 Academy Awards nominations announcement overnight, in what appears to be a response to the sexual harassment allegations against him.
Franco was considered a shoo-in for the Best Actor Oscar category, after he won the Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes and Best Actor in a Comedy at the Critics Choice Award, both for his performance in The Disaster Artist.
He was also nominated for outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role at the Screen Actors Guild awards last week, although he didn’t win.
So while it’s not known for sure, it seems likely the sexual harassment allegations caused the star to be snubbed.
The nominees for Best Actor are Timothée Chalamet for Call Me by Your Name, Daniel Day-Lewis for Phantom Thread, Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out, Gary Oldman for Darkest Hour and Denzel Washington for Roman J. Israel, Esq.
This month the Los Angeles Times published the accounts of five women alleging sexual misconduct or inappropriate behaviour at the hands of Franco.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan, a former acting student at the film school Franco founded who appeared in several of his productions, claims that on the set of his still unreleased film The Long Home, Franco removed plastic guards covering women’s genitals in a nude orgy scene and continued to simulate the sex act with no protection.
An attorney for Franco told the times the allegation is “not accurate”.
She also claims an actress who refused to take her top off and dance around Franco in another scene was sent home.
“I got it in my head pretty quickly that, OK, you don’t say ‘no’ to this guy,” she said.
Another student actress, Violet Paley, says shortly after she began a romantic relationship with Franco, he pressured her into performing oral sex on him in a car.
Appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert after the allegations were made public, Franco denied any intentional wrongdoing but said he was willing to “listen”.
“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,” he said.
“If I have done something wrong, I will fix it — I have to,” said Franco.
As the Oscar nominations were announced in the US, Good Morning America featured Franco accusers Tither-Kaplan and Paley, who said they believe Franco has abused his power in Hollywood.
Tither-Kaplan said Franco is “not a Harvey Weinstein. He is not an unfeeling monster who has no sense of reality,” but said he has nevertheless done the wrong thing.
“He created exploitative environments for non-celebrity women on his sets and I also think James is a talented and valuable person,” Tither-Kaplan said.
“It is a pyramid and at the top is rape and sexual violence and at the bottom are the other abuses of power that when they continue to happen over and over build and build and create a culture that allows the most heinous examples of sexual violence and misogyny and discrimination to happen and so if we allow any of them, we’re allowing all of them.”
See the full list of 2018 Academy Award nominations here.