Shortly after HBO renewed The Deuce for a second season, James Franco—who stars in the show as a pair of twin brothers—was accused of sexual misconduct by five women. Now it looks like Franco is coming back to the critically acclaimed drama despite the allegations against him, Entertainment Tonight reports.
Megan Abbott, a writer for the show, told reporters on Sunday Franco would “of course” be coming back for its second season. Although HBO hasn’t yet made an official announcement about Franco, Abbott’s comment echoes co-creator David Simon’s reaction to the scandal, telling Variety back in January that Franco had been “entirely professional as an actor, director, and producer.”
“Personally I can only speak knowledgeably to The Deuce,” Simon said in a statement. “We have no complainant or complaint or any awareness of any incident of concern involving Mr. Franco. Nor has HBO been approached with any complaint.”
In January, Franco was accused of pressuring a woman into performing oral sex and exploiting his female students into doing orgy and nudity scenes that made them feel uncomfortable, according to the LA Times. He’s since called the allegations “not accurate,” but has still been cut from major events and digitally edited out of Vanity Fair‘s annual Hollywood Issue cover. After Franco won Best Actor at the Golden Globes for The Disaster Artist, he wasn’t nominated for the honor at the Oscars—a snub some speculated might be connected to his alleged misconduct.
“James is disappointed in not getting an Oscar nomination,” a source told E! News, after the Oscar nominations were announced. “But also very understanding and somewhat relieved.”
Franco’s return to the show would be a drastically different outcome compared to how sexual misconduct allegations have derailed other major TV stars’ careers. Allegations against That 70‘s Show‘s Danny Masterson cost him his role in a Netflix series, and Kevin Spacey was booted from House of Cards and edited out of All the Money in the World after he was accused of serial sexual assault and harassment.
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