Busy Philipps, who co-starred alongside James Franco in the cult TV series Freaks and Geeks, has distanced herself from the actor after allegations of misconduct were made against him.
Philipps is the latest big name to come forward, following Franco’s close friend and frequent collaborator, Seth Rogen, who also said that he will no longer work alongside Franco following the claims of misconduct which began when five women came forward in 2018.
Allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against Franco arose again in 2018. This time, students of his short-lived New York acting school Studio 4 accused the actor of intimidating them into sexual situations. Franco has vehemently denied the allegations. This particular set turned into a lawsuit which was settled in February.
Now, in a new interview with The Daily Beast‘s The Last Laugh podcast, Philipps has admitted to being “surprised” by Rogen’s decision to distance himself from Franco, adding: “I have to say, I mean, it’s interesting. They were super close and they had a very tight relationship. And so I don’t have any information. I mean, I’m going to say something now, whatever – Seth is married to a very fucking smart woman.”
Philipps added: “Although, to be honest with you, I haven’t spent my days doing deep dives into what it all was. I didn’t work with James past age 20, so I can only speak to the horrible behaviour I experienced. I can’t speculate on their friendship, but I wouldn’t want to work with someone who has multiple allegations of predatory behaviour. So, in fact, I won’t.”
Philipps is illuding to an incident that she personally encountered with Franco while filming Freaks and Geeks, a time in which she alleged that the actor grabbed her and screamed in her face. Philipps also claimed that co-star Linda Cardellini urged her to report Franco for his behaviour, but he apologised the following day and the incident was put to bed.
Detailing the incident further while speaking to The Hollywood Reporter a couple of years ago, Philipps explained: “James and I have talked about it over the years. At one point he apologised to me. I was always acutely aware of my expendability, and so I felt I needed to never complain, always show up on time and not be difficult. If someone else was being difficult, it was my job to be the easy one or figure out a way to soothe the situation.”