Opinion: Why isn’t James Franco being treated like Kevin Spacey or Al Franken?

James Franco arrives at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills on Jan. 7.
(Jordan Strauss / AP)

To the editor: Actor James Franco allegedly used his power and position to find girlfriends, stage orgies, teach a “master class” on sex scenes, solicit nudity and have unprotected oral sex with various women. Now, he says “If I have done something wrong, I will fix it — I have to.” (“Five women accuse actor James Franco of inappropriate or sexually exploitative behavior,” Jan. 11)

Meanwhile, Al Franken, who posed for a photo pretending to grab the chest of a sleeping woman, resigned from the United States Senate. What’s wrong with this picture?

Franco is a brilliant young talent, and unlike with the equally brilliant Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman or Garrison Keillor, there appears to be no movement to whitewash him from current projects, like HBO’s “The Deuce,” or future productions, despite allegations markedly seamier than those against older actors, not to mention Franken.

Is this then how the gradations of offense will play out in Hollywood — by age, looks and the current status of one’s power?


Mitch Paradise, Los Angeles


To the editor: The recent fall from grace of film legends presents a conundrum. As we expel them from their chosen careers as sexual predators, do we also reject their body of work?

Spacey is a marvelous actor who has won Academy Awards and created memorable characters on stage, screen and television. Franco, Harvey Weinstein and all the other accused men have left us with memorable films. Are we now to ignore the positive impact they have had on our culture?


Richard Wagner was a notorious anti-Semite and by all accounts a deplorable person, yet he composed great music that is a crucial part of our culture, as is the literature, theater and art of many other imperfect beings.

Time seems to be the great redeemer. Will time redeem and forgive the shortcomings of our own accused members of the artistic community?

Tom Bauer, Morro Bay

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