What's Happened To James Franco Since He Got Canceled?

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This article contains triggers for sexual assault.

Actor James Franco certainly had plenty of success in his career, but he's also been accused of some pretty dark behavior. In 2014, for example, messages between him and a then-17-year-old girl landed in the press. In their exchange, Franco hit on her and asked if he should get them a hotel room. He apologized for his actions later on "Live! With Kelly and Michael." Then in her 2018 memoir, "This Will Only Hurt a Little," actor Busy Philipps said that James assaulted her by pushing her to the ground on the set of their show "Freaks and Geeks." It happened after she was improving a scene and hit him in the chest. 

But despite the ill behavior that Franco was accused of, it didn't seem to affect his career in a major way. That changed, however, when the Los Angeles Times interviewed female actors who said they were victims of sexual misconduct by Franco at his now-closed Studio 4 film school. Franco was pretty much canceled after the 2018 article was released and his film career plummeted. 

But since being canceled, what has he been doing? Read on and we'll let you know.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

James Franco settled for over $2 million

Nearly two years after Sarah Tither-Kaplan's story about James Franco was published in the Los Angeles Times, she and Toni Gaal, another woman who took his class at Studio 4, filed a class-action lawsuit against him and two others. In their suit, filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, both women said that Franco sexually exploited them on movie shoots and auditions — while promising to put them in his films that oftentimes were never released.

"[Franco and his co-defendants] engaged in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior towards female students by sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects," the suit read, per The New York Times. "[The behavior] led to an environment of harassment and sexual exploitation both in and out of the class."

Other women eventually joined the suit and in June 2021, The Hollywood Reporter shared news that Franco settled for $2,235,000, an amount that was split among the plaintiffs. At the beginning of their suit, Franco's lawyer Michael Plonsker said the women filed it just for publicity. But that tune changed when Franco and his legal team had to agree to a statement as part of the settlement. "While Defendants continue to deny the allegations in the complaint, they acknowledge that Plaintiffs have raised important issues; and all parties strongly believe that now is a critical time to focus on addressing the mistreatment of women in Hollywood," the statement read.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

James Franco admitted wrongdoing

In 2018, when James Franco won a Golden Globe award for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy for "The Disaster Artist," let's just say that actor Ally Sheedy didn't congratulate him. "James Franco just won," she tweeted, then deleted. "Please never ask me why I left the film/tv business."

Sheedy worked with Franco in the 2014 off-Broadway play "The Long Shrift," which he directed. But "The Breakfast Club" star wasn't the only person who disliked his Golden Globe win. Another actor, Sarah Tither-Kaplan, who attended Franco's Studio 4 film school in Los Angeles tweeted that he sexually exploited her. Plus, a third actor, Violet Paley, accused Franco of doing something horrible to her when they sat in a car once.

At first, the "127 Hours" star denied the allegations on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert." Then when the Los Angeles Times published the woman's account, his lawyer said that his client did nothing wrong. In December of 2021, however, Franco admitted wrongdoing on "The Jess Cagle Podcast." "Over the course of my teaching I did sleep with students, and that was wrong," he said. "But it's not why I started the school, and I wasn't the person that selected the people to be in the class, so it wasn't a master plan on my part." Franco then said at the time he didn't understand the power imbalance of a teacher being involved with a student, which he was blasted for.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

He talked about Seth Rogen distancing himself

James Franco and actor, writer, and director Seth Rogen have teamed up for some pretty memorable films like "Pineapple Express," "This Is The End," "The Interview," as well as the TV show "Freaks and Geeks." But in a 2021 interview with The Sunday Times, Rogen said that his working days with Franco were over due to the sexual misconduct claims against him. Rogen also brought up a 2018 Vulture interview where he didn't back down from wanting to work with Franco despite that career-damaging Los Angeles Times article.

"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," Rogen told The Sunday Times, while also saying that his personal relationship with Franco has shifted. At least one actor, however, Charlyne Yi, accused Rogen of enabling Franco's behavior. It was a claim that she made on Instagram just one month before his Sunday Times interview.

Franco eventually talked about Rogen on "The Jess Cagle Podcast" and backed his words. "He was my absolute closest work friend, collaborator. We just gelled," Franco explained. "What he said is true. We aren't working together right now and we don't have any plans to work together. Of course, it was hurtful in context, but I get it, you know, he had to answer for me because I was silent."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

He's been working

One thing that James Franco has been doing since being canceled is working. In May of 2022, Deadline revealed that he signed on to star in "Mace," a film where he'll play a corrupt police officer. Trevor Jackson, of "Grown-ish" fame, co-stars as another cop who abides by the law and does things by the book. Filming is said to start in New Jersey at some point in 2022, and Franco has been silent about "Mace" since it made headlines.

Myriad Pictures is financially backing the project, and so far, as of this writing, a premiere date has yet to be announced. More than likely, many will probably look at "Mace" as Franco's comeback film, and it'll be a test for Myriad Pictures, as well as production company the Meyers Media Group, to see if people are willing to embrace a new film from the actor. As of 2022, Franco's talent agency UTA has remained with him through the sexual misconduct claims and lawsuit. Reportedly, he signed with them in 2016.

James Franco has been dating Isabel Pakzad

When James Franco addressed the accusations against him on "The Jess Cagle Podcast," he also spoke of Isabel Pakzad, an actor and director who he's been dating since 2017. As of June 2022, the couple is still going strong, as the Daily Mail published photos of them at that time hanging out at a beach in Mykonos, Greece. They first did a little sailing before dipping into the southern Aegean Sea and frolicking with each other.

In his Cagle interview, Franco said for the first part of his relationship with Pakzad, it was fun for her because his film "The Disaster Artist” was coming out. But after his sexual misconduct scandal erupted, the California native said it was hard for her to deal with. He also talked about meeting Pakzad and courting her in a way that he considers old-fashioned.

"The premium here is not can I seduce you, it's, is there material between us to build on ... I had a whole plan: Get coffee with somebody, then maybe have lunch and then go on a hike," Franco explained. "We went to a dance class, like a salsa dance class. Like, 1950s style stuff." The "Spring Breakers" star also told the podcast host that Pakzad is the only girlfriend that he never cheated on.

He's been staying off social media

There are some celebrities who remain on social media after they've been called out for horrible behavior but not James Franco. For example, as of June 2022, his last tweet was in 2020, and he hasn't shared a Facebook post since 2016 — two years before that Los Angeles Times article came out. So obviously the "Why Him" actor began slowing down on social media for other reasons besides the scandal. In fact, he talked about quitting Instagram in 2017 while speaking to Variety.

"It's very liberating," he said about walking away from the social site. "I just got rid of it. When I first got on, it just felt silly. I treated it like it was a joke. You get in that weird seductive space where it feels private, but it's also public. And you get hooked on the reaction ... There was some photo I did. I wasn't naked. I'm sure Rihanna has posted a bunch more risqué photos. It was just the attitude of the photo. It was sweaty, my hand was in my boxers, it just looked gross."

That particular photo was bought up in some of the articles that were written about Franco after the sexual misconduct claims surfaced. It's safe to say that if the ostracized actor was still on social media, he'd be lambasted for it since some feel like he hasn't taken full accountability for his actions.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

He got pulled into the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial

James Franco made a cameo in the much-talked-about defamation case between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. Well, not Franco himself, it was his image since he was seen in footage with Heard riding in an elevator. Depp's attorney, Camille Vasquez, showed the clip during the trial since it was said that Depp accused his ex-wife of having a longtime affair with Franco. It was an accusation that Heard denied, stating they're only close friends and former neighbors. She also co-starred in the films "Pineapple Express" and "The Adderall Diaries" with Franco.

In one part of the elevator footage, Heard and Franco can be seen resting their heads on each other while heading to Heard and Depp's penthouse. Plus, the footage is dated May 22, 2016, at 10:51 p.m., and Heard filed for divorce from the "Edward Scissorhands" actor one day after. All along, they both accused each other of domestic abuse but denied it. Depp was also out of town during Franco's visit.

"You changed the lock to the penthouses on May 22, 2016," Vasquez asked Heard while she was on the stand. "I attempted to," Heard answered. "That's why you felt comfortable having James Franco over the evening of May 22, 2016, Ms. Heard?" Vasquez shot back. Per Buzzfeed, Franco was supposed to testify for Heard but that didn't happen. The "True Story" actor hasn't commented on the trial as of June 2022 and said nothing about his name coming up.

The actor has been keeping a low profile

For a number of years, James Franco seemed ubiquitous, seeing that he acted in one film after another, directed, and produced, all while attending a lot of American celebrity events. But after he was accused of sexual misconduct, he was barely seen. The actor was spotted a few times, however, like when he attended the Filming Italy Sardegna Festival in June 2022. Franco was there with his girlfriend Isabel Pakzad but that wasn't the only time he was seen in Europe. That's because besides being photographed by paparazzi on that beach in Mykonos, Greece, he and Pakzad also enjoyed a night out on the island. There's footage of Franco in a white hoodie, while Pakzad is seen sporting red. 

Another time the "Child of God" actor was spotted after the sexual misconduct claims was in July of 2021 when he was seen jogging in New York City. He was wearing a face mask at the time, which could've served the dual purpose of COVID-19 protection and obscuring his face from the public, as well as his detractors.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).