If you were following celebrity news last week (and I’m always following celebrity news), you probably heard about the scandal he was involved in where he attempted to seduce a 17, but nearly 18-year old girl over Instagram. Once the news about his sleazy behaviour came to light, Franco took to the morning talk show circuit in an attempt to defend his actions and get off the hook for his questionable behaviour.
Here’s the main sticking point – the age of consent in New York is 17. Technically speaking and from a basic legal standpoint, Franco didn’t do anything wrong. On a moral level, however, James Franco, a 35-year old man, probably shouldn’t be using his fame to seduce adolescents over the internet. The whole thing just screams sleaziness.
The worst part, in my opinion, is Franco’s morning show defence. I get it: everyone makes mistakes. James Franco made a mistake and used poor judgment. If he came right out and apologized, I would feel more sympathetic towards him. Instead of being straight up, Franco deflects the blame away from himself. Franco states:
“In my position, not only do I have to go through the embarrassing rituals of meeting someone, but sometimes it gets published for the world.”
Listen, Franco: everyone has to go through the ’embarassing’ rituals of meeting someone. I have to go through them. You have to go through them. EVERYONE does. The fact that you’re under more scrutiny and spotlight than the next guy is not a valid excuse for acting like a borderline sexual predator.
The age of consent is 17 for a reason, and I can live with that. The thing I CAN’T live with is Franco’s hypocrisy. The above quote is meant to bring him down to the average non-star’s level. HEY, he’s just an average joe, jumping through the same dating hoops and online misdirection that we all do. Except he explicitly used his brand and star-power to seduce this young girl who likely didn’t know any better. That dichotomy is what really bothers me here, not the fact that he almost slept with this girl.
Here’s the full interview and ‘confession’ on the Morning Show with Kelly and Michael:
There is some debate about whether this whole thing is a hoax meant to promote Franco’s new film, in which he plays a coach engaging in an affair with an under-aged student. Regardless, it’s a creepy and sleazy thing to do.