Praise for the actor came into question when an article published in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 11 included accusations of abuse of power and inappropriate sexual behavior by five women. A source close to Franco, who was wearing a Time’s Up pin during his acceptance speech, disputes that number, adding that the accusations against the actor are “false.”
The news followed within days of the actor winning Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes. Immediately after his name was announced, multiple women including Ally Sheedy complained on Twitter using the #MeToo hashtag. Sheedy, who worked with Franco on the 2014 play The Long Shrift later deleted her tweets.
Following the allegations of sexually inappropriate and exploitative behavior, Franco appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert where he was asked by the host about the news report. “In my life, I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I've done. I have to do that to maintain my well-being,” Franco told Colbert, adding he had had no idea what he did to Sheedy. “I do it whenever I know that there's something wrong or needs to be changed. I make it a point to do it.”
"The things that I heard were on Twitter are not accurate, but I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice, because they didn't have a voice for so long," he continued. "So I don't want to shut them down in any way. I think it's a good thing and I support it."
Following the interview, he skipped the Critics’ Choice Awards, where he won Best Actor in a Comedy, but later attended the Screen Actors Guild Awards. While in the audience, the actor's name was met with tepid response when the nominees were announced on Sunday. He lost to Gary Oldman, who was nominated for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in the Darkest Hour.
Despite the allegations, The New York Times suggested last week that Franco could still earn an Oscar nomination simply due to the timing. The Los Angeles Times article was published on Jan. 11, one day before the voting period for the 2018 nominations closed on Jan. 12. It’s possible that many of the voters, particularly the acting branch, submitted their ballots ahead of the news report -- but now, it seems that was not the case.
On Tuesday morning, prior to announcement of 2018 Oscar nominations, two of Franco's accusers -- Sarah Tither-Kaplan, 26, and Violet Paley, 23 -- told ABC News’ Amy Robach on Good Morning America that they believe the actor abused his power in Hollywood. "Using his power to give opportunities to women that are real and valuable and actually give them career advancement, you know, he's not an unforgivable person, at least for me," Tither-Kaplan said.
Franco previously nominated for a Best Actor Oscar in 2011, for 127 Hours.
The 90th annual Academy Awards will be hosted live by Jimmy Kimmel at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, March 4 starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m PT on ABC.