Maggie Gyllenhaal Reveals Why She Kept James Franco on The Deuce After Misconduct Allegations
Maggie Gyllenhaal has broken her silence on The Deuce costar James Franco after he was accused of sexual misconduct
The 40-year-old actress who produces the HBO show opened up about Franco to Sway Calloway while on his SiriusXM show Sway in the Morning on Tuesday.
Calloway asked her how she approached the allegations against the actor, 40, and how it affected their relationship and their HBO show.
“Do you talk to him about it? Do you ignore it? What do you, what do you do under those circumstances?” he asked her.
Gyllenhaal, who stars and produces the show, said she “would’ve felt similarly as an actor, but I felt it was my responsibility to do the opposite of ignore it.”
“You know, we at the time that the accusations against James came out in the LA Times we read them all, we took them very seriously,” she said. “We spoke to every woman on the crew and in the cast to find out if they felt respected and what their experience of working with James was and everyone said that they had been totally respected by him.”
The actress explained she also took into account what their show was about when it came to addressing the allegations against Franco.
The Deuce follows the beginning of the sex trade industry in New York City in the early 1970s.
“For me, I would say another thing that was really important was our show is about, like I said, it’s about misogyny,” Gyllenhaal said. “It’s about transactional sex. It’s about inequality in the entertainment business. You couldn’t be more at the center of that conversation than The Deuce.”
“To me, I thought I want to keep telling this story, I want to keep playing Candy and going deep into, like, really what it’s like from a woman’s perspective to be dealing with all the stuff that is on everybody’s minds right now,” she continued.
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“I feel like it would’ve been the wrong consequence to those accusations to shut our show down. It would’ve been like actually the opposite of the right thing to do,” Gyllenhaal added. “And yet, you know, look, I believe that there should be consequences for disrespecting or assaulting women. Of course, I do.”
Busy Philipps called the actor a “f— bully” in her forthcoming memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little, in which she alleged he pushed her to the ground on the set of Freaks and Geeks.
The next day, Philipps said Franco apologized to her after executive producer Judd Apatow made him watch a video of what happened.
She said Franco went on to apologize, claiming that he had a negative reaction to watching his character being treated poorly. According to Philipps, that was the extent of Franco’s punishment for the incident.
Franco’s rep did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.