Actor-writer Seth Rogen has said as someone who “despises” abuse and harassment, he doesn’t plan to work with frequent collaborator James Franco following allegations of sexually inappropriate behaviour against the latter. Rogen’s remarks come over three years after he said that he would continue to work with Franco, with whom he had collaborated on a string of films like “This Is The End”, “Pineapple Express”, “The Interview” and “Sausage Party”.
Allegations of sexual misconduct were made against Franco in 2018, when several students at his former acting school accused him of intimidating them into sexual situations. The allegations — which Franco has denied — led to a lawsuit, which was settled in February. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Rogen said, “I also look back to that interview in 2018 where I comment that I would keep working with James, and the truth is that I have not and I do not plan to right now.” The Emmy-nominated writer said it is “not a coincidence” that his professional relationship with Franco seems to have come to an end, adding the accusations have affected their personal equation as well. “I don’t know if I can define that right now during this interview. I can say it, um, you know, it has changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic,” he added.
In response to the outlet’s comment that the situation “must have been painful”, Rogen said, “Yeah. But not as painful and difficult as it is for a lot of other people involved. I have no pity for myself in this situation.” Rogen also recounted his 2014 “Saturday Night Live” opening monologue, where he joked about a 17-year-old girl’s allegation that Franco had direct messaged her on Instagram to meet up. During the monologue, he said, “I decided to prank James Franco. I posed as a girl on Instagram, told him I was way young. He seemed unfazed. I have a date to meet him at the Ace Hotel.” Reflecting on this anecdote, Rogen told the publication that it was a “terrible joke” that he had made on the late-night sketch comedy series.
“What I can say is that I despise abuse and harassment and I would never cover or conceal the actions of someone doing it, or knowingly put someone in a situation where they were around someone like that. However, I do look back at a joke I made on ‘Saturday Night Live’ in 2014 and I very much regret making that joke,” he added.
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