[Blind Gossip] Aspiring actors take acting classes to learn how to act. But what if the teacher of those classes has his own twisted agenda?
This very well-known actor stars in both film and TV projects. He teaches acting on the side.
We’re being told that some very questionable activity goes on in his acting classes. Here are some examples from former students:
- The first day of class, he told us to take off all our clothes so we could learn how to be comfortable being vulnerable in front of the camera.
- He says the sex scenes are “art” and that if you want to be a real “artist” you have to be comfortable with taking your clothes off and having sex on camera.
- He uses the class as his own personal casting couch for him and his friends. He introduces you to his other “teacher” friends or his “producer” friends who pretend to want to help you with your craft or with getting roles, but they always just want to have sex.
- He has you take your clothes off, and he takes his clothes off, too. If you don’t do the fake sex scene with him, he will throw you out out of class.
- I’ve been on film sets before and unless you are doing p*rn, there is absolutely no reason for actors to be totally nude. We should have had pasties or c*ck socks. The whole thing just felt wrong.
- One day it got so creepy that our entire class walked out.
- He offers some of the female students roles in unpaid films. You show up on the set and you have to sign an NDA. Then he tells you – surprise! – you need to do an improvised sex scene with him. If you refuse, you get fired, and because you have an NDA, you can’t tell anyone about it.
- He had the women on the set of [name of film] wear dental dams, and not in their mouths. You shouldn’t have to wear a dental dam for a simulated sex scene.
- Some of the kids in the class are only 17 or 18 years old and are very naive and just want to make it in the business. He’s famous so they just do what he tells them. I think he counts on this to take advantage of them.
- Some of the students complained to the school about him and his friends and what they were forcing the students to do, but the school just kicked out the students.
This doesn’t sound like an acting school. This sounds like a hunting ground.
Similar: Oscar Actor Accused Of Assault
[Optional] Do his teaching methods sound legitimate to you?
Actor: James Franco
Blind Gossip told you more than two months ago that this story was coming. It’s finally starting to break.
Shortly after the Harvey Weinstein scandal erupted, James Franco’s acting school suddenly shut down and all references to it were scrubbed from the internet.
It wasn’t because the school, founded in 2014, could not attract students or because Franco was too busy. It was because James Franco was about to be exposed for his own predatory behavior.
Of course he is denying everything. Just like Harvey Weinstein.
The L.A Times article you’ll see today is just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of young actors and actresses with stories to tell of Franco’s vulgar and unprofessional behavior.
Time’s up, James Franco.
From The L.A. Times:
Five women accuse actor James Franco of inappropriate or sexually exploitative behavior
It should have been a pure moment of triumph for James Franco. He collected one of Hollywood’s top prizes at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, validating an untraditional career in which he’s been a bankable leading man, Ivy League academic and eccentric auteur.
But as he stood on the ballroom stage, some were paying more attention to the Time’s Up pin on his lapel than the gold statue he picked up for his turn in “The Disaster Artist.”
It “was like a slap in my face,” said Sarah Tither-Kaplan, a former acting student at the film school Franco founded who went on to appear in several of his productions.
Tither-Kaplan is one of five women who, in interviews with The Times, accused Franco, 39, of behavior they found to be inappropriate or sexually exploitative. Four were his students, and another said he was her mentor.
In some cases, they said they believed Franco could offer them career advancement, and acquiesced to his wishes even when they were uncomfortable.
“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,” said Tither-Kaplan, who was one of many women who took to Twitter on Sunday night to vent anger over Franco’s win.
She told The Times that in a nude orgy scene she filmed with Franco and several women three years ago, he removed protective plastic guards covering other actresses’ vaginas while simulating oral sex on them.
Two other student actresses also recounted negative on-set experiences. Both said Franco became angry when no women, while at the shoot, would agree to be topless.
Franco’s attorney, Michael Plonsker, disputed all of the women’s allegations and directed The Times to Franco’s comments Tuesday night on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”
“Look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I have done,” he 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.”
“If I have done something wrong,” he added, “I will fix it — I have to.”
One of the things that made Studio 4 different from other acting schools, Franco promised, was its ability to funnel promising talent into the actor’s own projects. Indeed, the school’s now-closed website said that Franco and his production company, Rabbit Bandini Productions, would “cast roles directly from his classes, and will involve his students in a variety of his film and art projects.”
But several students said that these parts were rarely handed out to people in the classes.
“They would tell us that smaller parts in their projects were being held exclusively for students — often they were opportunities for extra work or parts that required nudity,” said Devyn LaBella, who spent a year as a student at the NoHo location. “I didn’t have agency representation at the time, so I thought, ‘Well, I’m not going to be able to get into good auditions, so this might be my opportunity.’”
LaBella said she and classmates uploaded auditions to a website, but no one she knew ever heard back.
Katie Ryan, who met Franco at Playhouse West and took several classes at Studio 4, said the actor “would always make everybody think there were possible roles on the table if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts.”
She said that for years, she received mass email requests from Franco to audition for roles playing “a prostitute or a hooker.”
Franco is “not aware that any of the actions alleged by Ms. Ryan ever occurred,” his attorney said.
You can read the entire story here.
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