‘The Deuce’ co-creator David Simon defends James Franco in sexual misconduct allegations

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Simon says they were right to not remove Franco from ‘The Deuce’ following the allegations

David Simon, co-creator of The Deuce, has defended the show’s star James Franco amid sexual misconduct allegations.

Earlier this month, Franco was accused of sexual exploitation in a new lawsuit, which stated that he used his acting school to promote “widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behaviour”.

It followed five women accusing him of sexual misconduct in 2018. Franco denies the claims.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Simon spoke of the decision to not remove Franco from The Deuce amidst the allegations, saying that he believes “proportionality got lost” in the reporting of the allegations.

“I do think it’s fair to critique James, as I think James has critiqued himself, on the notion of being a little bit flippant or unaware of the power of being James Franco,” he said.

“And that when people say ‘yes,’ they might not be saying yes if it was anyone but James Franco—that young actors and actresses could get into situations where they would say ‘yes’ and have fundamental regrets.”

The Deuce

Final fling: James Franco and Margarita Levieva in the final episode of ‘The Deuce’.

Simon then stressed the differences between Franco’s case and those of the likes of Harvey Weinstein, saying: “The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone.

“There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favour from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show.

“Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm… Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it.” Weinstein and Moonves deny the allegations against them.

Since the 2018 allegations were made against Franco, he has continued to work in Hollywood. His latest movie Zeroville was released last month, but made only $8,897 (£7,209) in its opening weekend in the US.

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