On Tuesday morning, the 2018 Oscar nominations were announced, and there was a notable name missing from the list. James Franco, who won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy earlier this month, wasn’t included in this year’s Best Actor category. Many believe the snub has to do with the recent sexual harassment allegations made against the 39-year-old.
The men competing for the award include Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name), Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.), and Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour). The announcement comes less than a week after James attended the SAG Awards, where he was nominated for his film The Disaster Artist (Gary Oldman took home the prize for his portrayal of Winston Churchill).
Accusations against the 127 Hours star first started during the Golden Globes, with several actresses — including Breakfast Club alum Ally Sheedy — tweeting their disgust for the director. The Los Angeles Times later published an article in which five women, four of whom were previous acting students of James’, alleged that the California native displayed sexually exploitative behavior while he was their teacher/mentor.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan, who took classes at Studio 4 — the film school James founded in 2014 — claimed he once removed the safety guards (used to protect an actor’s modesty) while filming an oral sex scene for the film The Long Home. “I got it in my head pretty quickly that, OK, you don’t say ‘no’ to this guy,” she explained. “I feel there was an abuse of power, and there was a culture of exploiting non-celebrity women, and a culture of women being replaceable.”
If you want to help the people coming forward in the #timesup and #metoo movements, then stand in solidarity with us, speak out against those who seek to discredit us, support us, and most importantly, hire us/work with us without making us compromise ourselves in return.
— Sarah Tither-Kaplan🌈 (@sarahtk) January 8, 2018
During a Jan. 9 interview on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, James defended himself while attempting to show support for the victims. “Look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I have done. I have to do that to maintain my well being,” he said. “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 any way.”