James Franco Won’t Work With ‘Absolute Closest’ Friend Seth Rogen
James Franco still has a lot of love for Seth Rogen, even though the two of them have had a falling-out after Franco was accused of sexually inappropriate behavior by multiple women in 2018.
Since then, Rogen has walked back initial comments that he would continue to work with the problematic actor and director in May saying, “I also look back to that interview in 2018 where I comment that I would keep working with James, and the truth is that I have not and I do not plan to right now.”
Now Franco has spoken about Rogen’s decision to distance himself professionally from him in a new interview. Per Entertainment Weekly, Franco said, “He was asked about me, and I just wanna say I absolutely love Seth Rogen. I love Seth Rogen. I worked with him for 20 years. We didn’t have one fight for 20 years. Not one fight. He was my absolute closest work friend, collaborator. We just gelled.”
Rogen and Franco first met on 1999’s Freaks and Geeks and have since worked together on films like Pineapple Express, This Is the End and their last collaboration, 2017’s The Disaster Artist. Franco facing allegations of sexually exploiting his former acting students has halted any future collaborations with his friend of 20 years.
“What he said is true. You know, we aren’t working together right now and we don’t have any plans to work together,” Franco said. “Of course, it was hurtful, in context, but I get it. He had to answer for me ’cause I was silent. He had to answer for me, and I don’t want that. So that’s why that’s one of the main reasons I wanted to talk to you today: I don’t want Seth or my brother or anyone to have to answer for me anymore.”
Rogen previously said, “What I can say is that I despise abuse and harassment and I would never cover or conceal the actions of someone doing it, or knowingly put someone in a situation where they were around someone like that. However, I do look back at a joke I made on Saturday Night Live in 2014 and I very much regret making that joke. It was a terrible joke, honestly.”
Of their friendship, Rogen said, “I don’t know if I can define that right now during this interview. I can say it, um, you know, it has changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic.”
Over the summer, Franco reached a deal with Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, two of his former acting students who filed a sexual misconduct lawsuit against him in 2019. As part of it, Tither-Kaplan and Gaal agreed to drop their individual claims. Franco admitted that he slept with his students, adding that he had grown “completely blind to power dynamics… but also completely blind to people’s feelings.” He says that he has done “a lot of work” on himself in the years since the allegations against him were made public, and is tentatively stepping back into the limelight.