Seth Rogen has finally spoken out about his professional relationship with frequent co-star and collaborator James Franco, saying that he has no plans to work with him following allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior.
Variety reports that Rogen did an interview with The Sunday Times, where he addressed the sexual misconduct allegations, as well as his 2014 Saturday Night Live opening monologue, where he joked about a 17-year-old girl’s allegation that Franco had direct messaged her on Instagram to meet up.
During the monologue, Rogan said, “I decided to prank James Franco. I posed as a girl on Instagram, told him I was way young. He seemed unfazed. I have a date to meet him at the Ace Hotel.”
Rogen told The Sunday Times, “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.”
Allegations of sexual misconduct occured against Franco once more in 2018, when several students at his former acting school accused him of intimidating them into gratuitous and exploitative sexual situations. A lawsuit resulted from Franco’s attorneys providing a response to their allegations as “false and inflammatory, legally baseless and brought as a class action with the obvious goal of grabbing as much publicity as possible for attention-hungry Plaintiffs.” The sexual misconduct lawsuit ended up getting settled in February.
Despite the allegations, the news outlet reports that Rogen has said in past interviews that he would continue to work with Franco, but that has apparently changed now. Rogen said, “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.”
39-year old Rogen confirmed that it is “not a coincidence” that his professional relationship with Franco seems to have come to an end, and said that the allegations have affected their personal friendship as well. 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.”
In response to a comment from The Sunday Times that the situation “must have been painful,” Rogen said: “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.”
As we previously reported, last month Charlyne Yi called out James Franco and Seth Rogen on Instagram, calling Franco a “sexual predator” and Rogen an enabler of Franco’s behavior. Yi was cast alongside Franco and Rogen in 2017’s The Disaster Artist, which Franco directed and Rogen produced, claiming producers tried to “bribe” her when she looked to exit the movie because of Franco.
35-year-old Yi said in her Instagram post caption: “Seth Rogen was one of the producers on this film so he definitely knows about the bribe and why I quit. Seth also did a sketch on SNL with Franco enabling Franco preying on children. Right after Franco was caught. Franco has a long history of preying on children.” Yi and Rogen also worked together on the 2007’s Knocked Up.