Revisiting 2018: How James Franco's #MeToo allegations dent his Oscar hopes

    A nostalgic glimpse into James Franco's 2018 Oscar journey, where looming allegations and the #MeToo movement might have influenced his path to the prestigious award.

    James Franco (Source: Los Angeles Times)

    James Franco (Source: Los Angeles Times)

    James Franco, celebrated for his portrayal in The Disaster Artist, found himself under scrutiny when he was accused of inappropriate behavior by multiple women. While he has always refuted these claims, this shadow of doubt potentially jeopardized his Oscar dreams on March 4th. It's no secret that the Academy often distances itself from any form of controversy. According to Nell Minow, an expert in movie critique, “Hollywood as a whole is extremely sensitive about” the #MeToo revelations. Many believed that the thought of Franco's possible acceptance speech and the associated media storm might not have been palatable to the Academy's voters.

    It's worth noting that the voting for Oscar nominations wrapped up a mere day after The Los Angeles Times brought to light the allegations against Franco. This incident inevitably led many to speculate whether this last-minute revelation affected Franco's standing.

    Franco amid other contenders

    Tom O’Neil, an awards prediction expert, pointed out the stiff competition Franco faced. Seasoned actors like Gary Oldman, Timothée Chalamet, and Daniel Day-Lewis were seemingly certain of their nominations. However, the fourth and fifth spots remained unpredictable. Many believed that the actors' branch, responsible for nominations, might feel compelled to resonate with the #MeToo and #TimesUp sentiment, further complicating Franco's chances. Franco's controversial attendance at the Globes, donning a Time's Up lapel pin, also added fuel to the fire.

    2017 saw Casey Affleck clinch the best actor award despite being engulfed in his own set of allegations. O’Neil reflected, “Last year, Casey Affleck still managed to win despite a sexual harassment scandal, but the climate is much different now.”

    Franco's response and public sentiment

    Franco didn't remain silent amid the uproar. On CBS’ The Late Show, while denying the misconduct allegations, he also championed the cause, stating, “I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice... It’s a good thing I support.” This stand was even praised by Ashley Judd, a prominent figure in the #MeToo movement, marking a significant moment in Franco's journey during this period.

    Looking back, Franco's Oscar saga is a testament to the transformative era of Hollywood in 2018, where waves of change began reshaping its very foundation.

    (Several parts of the text in this article, including the title, were generated with the help of an AI tool.)