James Franco says he ‘gets’ why Seth Rogen stopped working with him
In a wide-ranging interview with Jess Cagle on SiriusXM this week, James Franco finally opened up about the sexual misconduct allegations that derailed his career in 2019. Before the allegations, Franco regularly collaborated with fellow actor and producer Seth Rogen, with whom he had been working since Freaks and Geeks. In the same interview, the Sausage Party star likewise had a few words about his professional fallout with Rogen.
However, he only had kind words to say about his former friend.
“I just want to say, I absolutely love Seth Rogen,” Franco told Cagle. “A lot of people come up to me like, uh … I love Seth Rogen. I worked with him for 20 years, we didn’t have one fight for 20 years, not one fight. He was my absolute closest work friend collaborator and, we just gelled.”
“And um, what he said is true. You know, we aren’t working together right now and we don’t have any plans to work together. Of course, it was hurtful, you know in context but, I get it. He had to answer for me. Because I was silent, he had to answer for me. And I don’t want that. So that’s why, one of the main reasons I wanted to talk to you today, I don’t want Seth or my brother or anyone to have to answer for me anymore.”
Though Rogen stuck by Franco’s side throughout years of controversy — including allegations in which he tried to get a 17-year-old girl to meet him in a hotel room in 2014 — the lawsuit brought by two of his former students seemed to finally fracture their professional relationship.
In an interview with Britain’s Sunday Times in May of 2021, Rogen addressed the controversy for the first time when confronted with comments from comedian Charlyne Yi that he was Franco’s “enabler.” Yi had worked with Franco and Rogen on The Disaster Artist in 2017 and had attempted to quit over the allegations. (Instead, they were offered a bigger role in the film.)
Rogen had also made a joke about Franco’s 2014 scandal while hosting Saturday Night Live that same year.
“To make myself feel better I decided to prank James Franco,” Rogen said during his monologue. “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.”
“I do look back at a joke I made on Saturday Night Live in 2014 and I very much regret making that joke,” Rogen told the Sunday Times. “It was a terrible joke, honestly. And 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.”