James Franco to Letterman: ‘Don’t follow me on Instagram!’

Tired of seeing near-naked pictures of James Franco on Instagram? Well then, stop looking at James Franco’s pictures on Instagram, people!

So said the actor when he sat down with David Letterman on “Late Show” on Thursday. Letterman, of course, had to bring up the shot that went up about a week ago and came down only hours later.

That’s the one where the shirtless actor has one hand down the front of his boxer briefs.


“It’s what the people want!,” he would eventually declare. “If you don’t want to see them, don’t follow me! Don’t follow me on Instagram!”

“Careful!,” Franco blurted before the bathroom selfie went up on the screen. “Awful,” he then opined, with a big smile plastered on his face.

“First of all, let me just say, there’s not a person in this room who hasn’t had their hands in their own pants,” Letterman noted, earning a knowing wave of laughter from the audience.

In addition to the hands-down-pants selfie, in recent weeks he’s had a series of shirtless pics taken in bed. He has called the selfie experience between celebrity and fan “intimate.”

The star of Broadway’s current “Of Mice and Men” production explained that his Instagram is something he sees as “just a fun thing. It’s something I don’t put a ton of thought into.”

“But it gets a lot of attention,” he continued.

No kidding -- especially after after he made headlines in April for contacting a 17-year-old fan through the image-sharing website and appearing to try to talk her into meeting with him in a New York City hotel room. Screen grabs of a text exchange that followed the Instagram chat also quickly made the rounds.

That, he admitted in a morning-show appearance a day later, was “bad judgment” on his part.

“Unfortunately in my position -- I mean, I have a very good life -- but not only do I have to go through the embarrassing rituals of meeting someone, [but] sometimes if I do that, it gets published for the world, so now it’s like doubly embarrassing,” Franco said on “Live! With Kelly and Michael.”

Back with Letterman on Thursday, he tried to put his photos in context.

“It’s not like I’m, like, putting that on billboards,” he said. “Ostensibly, Instagram is for my fans. But now all the bloggers are following me on there so they’ll just take it and use my images for whatever they want. “

Can you blame us, James? Seriously, can you blame us?