Seth Rogen Regrets Joking About James Franco Sexual Harassment Allegations

Illustration for article titled Seth Rogen Regrets Joking About James Franco Sexual Harassment Allegations
Image: Valerie Macon (Getty Images)

For years, Seth Rogen has been nonspecific when asked about his longtime friend and collaborator James Franco through multiple sexual harassment allegations leveled at the actor. In 2014, he made a big joke about Franco DMing a 17-year-old on Instagram. When asked about the five women who came forward with new allegations in a 2018 interview, Rogen famously said: “My perspective on this is the least relevant perspective.” They were still friends at the time, but may not be so much anymore, it seems.

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In a new interview with The Sunday Times, Rogen was asked again about his involvement with James Franco, and whether it has affected their friendship. Here’s what he had to say:

“I’d say yes.” Is their personal relationship now over? “Erm,” he begins haltingly, “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.” That must have been painful. “Yeah. But not as painful and difficult as it is for a lot of other people involved. I have no pity for myself in this situation.”

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The interviewer then notes that Rogen fell into a pensive silence after the question. After a moment, he broke it:

“Pardon me just thinking — did I say what I should have said? I don’t always articulate myself perfectly in the moment and sometimes I need time to think about it. Am I representing — again, my wife has now made me rethink — am I representing myself properly? Or am I tripping over my own words?”

He adds that, “My words have failed me many times in the past, and I do not assume that they won’t yet again.”

It is interesting that after numerous collaborations with the guy—among them The Interview, Pineapple Express, This Is The End, Sausage Party, The Disaster Artist—Rogen wouldn’t have a more definitive answer on Franco, especially since their last on-screen appearance together was in 2019's Zeroville. While it isn’t much of a change in how Rogen has discussed Franco in the past, it is a change regardless. Maybe that counts for something.

DISCUSSION

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I think I understand his point when he said his opinion isn’t relevant. No one wants to believe their good friend is capable of doing terrible things.  It’s difficult to process.  It sounds like he’s on a path to understanding. He seems like a thoughtful person. I hope he gets there.