James Franco wins CCA amid sexual misconduct allegations

Olivia Morris

In the midst of the sexual misconduct allegations against him, James Franco has won the Critics' Choice Award for Best Actor in a Comedy for his role in The Disaster Artist.

The actor-director was a no-show at the event after five women publicly accused him of sexually inappropriate behaviour, The Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday.

The allegations and his Critics' Choice win come just days after the actor triumphed at the Golden Globes.

James Franco, here on Late Night with Seth Meyers, did not attend the Critics' Choice Awards amid the sexual misconduct allegations against him. Source: Getty

Presenter of the award and Vice Principals star Walton Goggins accepted the award on the 39-year-old's behalf.

Franco attended the Golden Globes on Sunday where he sported a 'Time's Up' pin supporting the movement against sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.

He was, however, called out by one of the women who has accused him of sexual misconduct.

He attended the Golden Globes on Sunday wearing a 'Times Up' pin. Source: Getty

"Cute #TIMESUP pin James Franco," Violet Paley wrote on Twitter. "Remember the time you pushed my head down in a car towards your exposed penis & that other time you told my friend to come to your hotel when she was 17? After you had already been caught doing that to a different 17 year old?"

Paley was also one of the five women who spoke to the Los Angeles Times as part of the exposé which was published on Thursday.

She told the outlet she saw Franco as a mentor when they began a romantic relationship in 2016.

"I just didn't want him to hate me, so I did it," she told the Times referring to her complaint. "The power dynamic was really off."

Sarah Tither-Kaplan, a former student at Franco's Studio 4 school in North Hollywood, also told the paper it "was like a slap in the face" seeing him wearing a 'Time's Up' pin.

Tither-Kaplan, whom Franco cast as a prostitute in 2015 in an unreleased film, described to the Times taking part in a nude orgy "bonus" scene in which Franco simulated oral sex on several other actresses, and has made allegations that he had removed a clear plastic guard that covered their vaginas.

Five women have come forward accusing Franco, here at the 2018 Golden Globes, of sexual misconduct. Source: Getty

She also claims she and her female co-stars were asked to appear topless and dance around Franco in an unscripted scene.

Franco's attorney told the Times the account of Franco removing the protective guards was "not accurate," and pointed to Tither-Kaplan's positive social media comments about her experience on the set.

Another Franco attorney said she had received no complaints during the movie filming.

Tither-Kaplan, who went on to appear in several Franco productions, acknowledged the positive remarks -- and said Franco later apologised for making her feel uncomfortable.

But she said the negative experiences were "red flags."

Katie Ryan, another former student, said Franco "would always make everybody think there were possible roles on the table if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts."

James Franco pictured at the Golden Globes with brother, Dave Franco. Source: Getty

Two other former students told the paper about a strip club scene that both considered unprofessional.

Hilary Dusome, 33, said Franco approached the group of actresses and asked, "So, who wants to take your shirt off?"

When no one volunteered, Franco stormed off, according to fellow student Natalie Chmiel, 33.

Franco's attorney denied any such request was made.

On Wednesday the actor denied engaging in sexual misconduct after several accusations surfaced on social media, while voicing his support for the many women coming forward with allegations of wrongdoing.

These accusations come after a speaking event featuring James Franco was cancelled by the New York Times after several allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced.

Speaking to Variety, the New York Times issued a statement that explained “the event was intended to be a discussion of the making of the film,The Disaster Artist."

And "given the controversy surrounding recent allegations, we’re no longer comfortable proceeding in that vein.”

Additional reporting by AFP (Los Angeles).

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