James Franco was digitally removed from the cover of Vanity Fair‘s annual Hollywood issue after he was accused of sexual misconduct by several woman.
“We made a decision not to include James Franco on the Hollywood cover once we learned of the misconduct allegations against him,”a Vanity Fair spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.
The magazine’s 2018 cover for its annual Hollywood issue — which featured (among others) Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks, Jessica Chastain, Gal Gadot, Harrison Ford, Michael B. Jordan, Zendaya, and Robert De Niro — has already grabbed headlines for its PhotoShop blunders that mistakenly gave Reese Witherspoon a third leg and Oprah Winfrey a third hand.
Franco’s name was first brought into the national discussion of sexual harassment earlier this month after he wore a Time’s Up pin at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, where he won a trophy for his role in The Disaster Artist.
In an article published in the Los Angeles Times days later, five women accused the actor of abusing his power as an acting teacher and mentor in a sexually exploitative manner.
Two students claimed the actor would often become angry on set when they would refuse to film topless while another former acting student at the film school Franco founded said he once removed safety guards while filming an oral sex scene on the set of the 2015 film The Long Home.
Additionally, actress Violet Paley recounted her previous social media claims that Franco exposed himself and tried to pressure her into oral sex. Though she said they had a consensual relationship, Paley said, “that time wasn’t consensual.” She also alleged that he told her friend to meet him in a hotel when the friend was 17.
Franco addressed the allegations during an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers earlier this month.
“There are people that need to be heard,” the actor told Meyers. “I have my own side of this story, but I believe in these people that have been underrepresented getting their stories out enough that I will hold back things that I could say, just because I believe in it that much,” he said. “So if I have to take a knock because I’m not going to try and actively refute things, then I will, because I believe in it that much.”
The actor’s attorney, Michael Plonsker, previously denied each of the women’s allegations to the Times and cited Franco’s comments during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as his formal denial.
“Look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I have done,” Franco told Colbert. “I have to do that to maintain my well being. 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.”
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Since the allegations, Franco has maintained a lower profile. He skipped the Critics’ Choice Awards, where he won the award for best actor in a comedy for his role in The Disaster’s Artist — though he did make an appearance at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.