ward season has descended upon us and with it an amplified discussion of the #MeToo movement and the Time’s Up legal defense fund for victims of sexual harassment and assault. Men in Hollywood are facing a reckoning, and award shows this season have become platforms for this important cause and also reminders about how many men still out there may be walking around with skeletons in their closets.
While new accusations may emerge during this award show season and it’s important that they do, it’s also important that men who have already been accused of harassment or assault are no longer nominated, that abusers are no longer recognized with a statue for a part in a movie.
There is no separating the art from the sexual predator, and organizations like the Academy and the Hollywood Foreign Press need to step up their standards.
A few short weeks ago, James Franco won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy for his role in The Disaster Artist.
He showed up to the event — at which women wore black in solidarity with victims of sexual assault — wearing a Time’s Up pin in support of the movement.
James Franco is a sexual predator. But the real problem is that we already knew this. We’ve known this for years.
He was a known sexual predator long before the Golden Globes. In 2014, he was caught propositioning a 17-year-old over text and took to television (LIVE with Kelly and Michael) to express that he was embarrassed and claimed that “social media is tricky.”
But being predatory wasn’t enough to exclude him from Hollywood award shows.
He should have never been nominated for a Golden Globe. And after the Golden Globes, after five women formally came out with accusations against him, he should have been taken out of the category at the Critics’ Choice Awards.
When he actually won, it just highlighted how inappropriate it was for him to even be considered for the award following the allegations.
What would have happened if James Franco was taken out of consideration for the award? Would the “symmetry” of the show be off? Too bad. If Hollywood is serious about fixing this problem, they must stop allowing known predators to be praised.
Of course, this instance with James Franco is far from the first time this has happened…