Earlier this month, several women took to Twitter during and after the 2018 Golden Globes to accuse James Franco of sexual misconduct. Days later, the Los Angeles Times published a story in which five additional women — four of whom studied under James, 39, at his Hollywood film school Studio 4 — claimed he had engaged in inappropriate or sexually exploitative behavior.
Life & Style caught up with actress Andrea-Rachel Parker — who worked with James on Season 1 of HBO’s The Deuce — at One Solution’s Pre-Grammys Dinner, which was held at Clyde Frazier’s Wine and Dine in NYC on Friday, Jan. 26, where she said that she was shocked to hear about the allegations made against her boss, who not only starred on the series, but served as a producer and occasionally directed episodes.
“I was definitely surprised to hear those allegations. Working with him has been phenomenal, and I’m excited hopefully to work with him again. I don’t know too much about the testimonies of the women,” Andrea-Rachel, 22, exclusively told Life & Style. “I feel like it’s very unfortunate that we’re even having this dialogue about just men not understanding how to respect women.”
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Though Andrea-Rachel never expected James’ name to be included among the myriad of men in show business who’ve been accused of sexual misconduct following Harvey Weinstein’s earth-shattering scandal, the Power star is happy to stand behind the #MeToo movement. “It’s a huge problem, [and talking about it] is the key,” she said. “His recollection did state that he was still very open to the #MeToo movement and women empowerment, and just kind of keeping the conversation open.”
Andrea-Rachel continued, “I think that’s important, and being able to say, ‘I hear you. I want to hear more. I’m becoming open to the idea that I don’t know how to interact the most appropriately and that I’m willing to listen and hear you out and have this dialogue.’”
James’ lawyer previously disputed the claims made against the Disaster Artist actor. For his part, James said on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert that the Twitter accusations were “not accurate.” However, he added, “I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice.”
While speaking with Life & Style last week, Andrea-Rachel also emphasized that she “[doesn’t] know the details of [James’] situation,” but is hoping that the influx of stories coming out about sexual abuse in Hollywood will encourage “kids to become empowered to speak about their interaction with adults.”
Asked to elaborate on her own experience with James, Andrea-Rachel had nothing but pleasant things to say about the Golden Globe winner. “He’s someone who directed one of the episodes and one of my scenes, and working with him was amazing and easy,” the Brooklyn native shared. “It was an honor, and I don’t want to assassinate anyone’s character with the limited information that I have. But I do feel like the conversation is extremely important to have, whether you have your own personal story or not.”
Reporting by Amber Belus.