James Franco calls NYT theater critic a ‘little bitch’ for bad review

James Franco

James Franco can’t stay out of the trouble even for a moment. It’s like he’s completely forgotten that he tried to pick up a teenage girl on Instagram two weeks ago. He tried to explain that kertuffle away as “bad judgment.” He’s still a creep.

Franco tried to recapture his “artist” rep for his Broadway debut in Of Mice and Men.” He’s starring with Leighton Meester and Chris O’Dowd. Reviews have been mixed with O’Dowd gaining most of the praise for his portrayal of Lennie. I had to laugh at this part of the AP’s review: “Franco is more standoffish, creating a George who apparently longs to be alone, tries to be decent and squints a lot.” That is amazing. He squints a lot. How artistic!

Franco took great issue with one review in particular. Ben Brantley of the NYT basically says Franco has no stage presence and is acting in General Hospital mode. That’s how I’m reading this: “Though he sports a Yosemite Sam accent, Mr. Franco is often understated to the point of near invisibility. It’s a tight, internal performance begging for a camera’s close-up.” Brantley also says the real-life dog of the show gives a better performance than Franco.


Franco thinks of Gawker as the ultimate insult to writers. He’s still angry that Nick Denton’s posse posted a photo of him sleeping through a graduate-level seminar. Franco can’t deal with criticism of any sort. He should know that almost any Broadway actor deals with negative feedback at some point. Instead of seeing the reviews as constructive, Franco lashed out like Alec Baldwin.

Related: Franco’s Instagram grows creepier by the day. He’s posting bed selfies on a regular basis. The ART of the creepy selfie.

James Franco

James Franco

Photos courtesy of James Franco on Instagram & WENN

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98 Responses to “James Franco calls NYT theater critic a ‘little bitch’ for bad review”

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  1. poppy says:

    he is laughable. and creepy.

  2. blue marie says:

    Of course he did, he can’t handle criticism. Everything he touches becomes (f)art.
    He has a very punchable face.

    I do like the color of his bedroom though, wonder what it is?

  3. Illyra says:

    God he looks old all of a sudden.

  4. stellalovejoydiver says:

    the only little bitch I see is Franco himself.
    he looks rough, did he party too much with Uncle Terry?

  5. mimif says:

    His IG account is a walk down narcissist lane. And what’s with the ALL CAPS, Kanye Franco?

  6. Amelia says:

    Franco . . . You’re making it a little too easy to dislike you, y’know?
    Once upon a time you were on the shame f*ck list, but now – *sigh*

  7. T.fanty says:

    Brantley is a notorious starf*#£er. If he’s slamming Franco, then Franco must have given a really poor performance. While it’s not an entirely inaccurate description of Brantley, the man knows his theatre. Franco is an insignificant pipsqueak, who, for all of his self-aggrandizement, has just proven the lack of talent we all knew was his defining feature. He needs to go back to the kiddie table.

    • Dani2 says:

      Brantley’s reviews make me laugh because when he doesn’t like a movie, he really tears into it. With this one though, it was a lot of constructive criticism so I don’t really see why he’s so butthurt over it.

    • Omega says:

      I know nothing off Brantley, but Franco did have talent. I watched him for the first time on the James Dean biopic, over a decade ago and I am still blown away. That was really an amazing performance.

      I think its this need to perpetually “stretch” himself thats the problem. He makes stupid acting choices because he just has to go against the grain. So for example, the stage is no place for restrained acting, there are no camera close ups but Franco just has to buck that wisdom. Hes acting for film on stage. Then he takes stage acting to TV (remember the 30 Rock cameo with the biiiiiiig facial expressions?). Its just daft.

      Having said, that I have to defend him on the Gawker drama. His beef with Gawker didnt start with pics of him napping in class, that was just them trolling him for lols and page views. It started when they named him as the Gay Rapist, the popular blind item. It was a particularly gruesome blind too, a closeted actor who raped his boyfriend and then paid him off for his silence. Of course the couched their language, claiming that they were merely repeating a rumor and, anyway they knew that he would be advised to avoid the Streisand Effect. Gawker has done some very unethical things in the past but that remains one of the worst examples of yellow journalism I have ever seen,

    • T.C. says:

      He is not as talented as he thinks he is. Can’t get that through his narcassitic brain.

  8. Ronnie says:

    Lol yesss He’s totally chucking a balwin with the LITTLE BITCH in CAPITALS thing… I’m suprised he didn’t call him a “toxic little queen”

  9. Kiddo says:

    He looks like a sickly, hospitalized Zach Braff in the second bed photo. WHAT’S WITH THE PEN?!!!

  10. NewWester says:

    Difficult to decide who will have the epic breakdown first. James Franco or Shia LeBeouf? Both are acting very strange lately. Still can’t get over that “art piece” James created awhile ago using part of a Batman costume. That was beyond strange

  11. delphi says:

    #TeamBrantley. Franco is such a skeeze. There is nothing worse than some poser hack trying to convince the world that he has any modicum of talent, when every single thing he does proves the contrary.

    But on a more positive note, yay for Chris O’Dowd! I’m so happy he’s getting good notices, and he’s succeeding at stepping away from comedy.

  12. Kaboom says:

    Strangely that’s also the term that comes to mind every time I see James Franco.

  13. yelp says:

    has he increased his drug intake?

    • Eve says:

      Sighing right along with you. And, in my case, that’s because I still like him.

      #noshame — especially after having seen a picture he posted on his Instagram, showing his two black cats with the caption “my girls”.

      P.S.: And before anyone replies to me saying how much of a creep he is for trying to nail that 17-year-old…say whatever you want: loser, creep, gross. I accept that.

      But don’t come with words like “predator” and “rapist” (like Lainey used) because as disgusting as it is to see a man in his late 30s trying to have sex with a teenager, she was, at least, legal.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        He’s not a rapist but…he’s just not a good guy. Good guys don’t do that sh*t like that, Eve. I love cats as much as you do, but you and I both know that having cats doesn’t automatically make him an ethical or moral person and it doesn’t excuse bad behavior. Picking up a 17-year-old…it’s just gross, Eve.
        I would question any man that does something like that. The men that I love and look up to in my life (my brother, my father, a few of my very close male friends) would NEVER even look at a 17-year-old, much less consider effing her.

        Saying she’s “legal” is trying to qualify terrible behavior –she’s a teenager. No one in their mid-thirties has ANYTHING in common with someone who’s in highschool.

      • Eve says:

        I know that, Kitten. I understand the logic and I agreed with that it’s gross and creepy. But to be perfectly honest, the one word I would use to describe his behaviour would be “pathetic”. It’s just pathetic that he (a famous, good looking actor) was trying to get some ass online.

        As for saying she’s legal, I wasn’t really trying to justify his gross behaviour — it’s more like…”Well, at least that was not an R. Kelly type of situation”.

        And that Lainey, by comparing him to predators and rapists is awfully (and technically) wrong. An online predator makes sure the person he’s trying to have sex with is underage, he wants a minor. Franco was looking for young p*ssy? Yes. But she wasn’t under the age of consent, that’s what I meant.

        P.S.: Indeed, no man in his thirties has anything to do with teenagers, but let’s not pretend they don’t try to have sex with them. Because they do.

        I’m going to wait and see. If he keeps doing this, if it becomes a pattern…then, yes, I’ll give up on him. Right now, I simply can’t hate the man.

        P.P.S.: No, having a cat doesn’t grant anyone a lifetime pass on everything. It just provides an imaginary shield I can’t resist sometimes. But not enough to blind me to the point of excusing everything they do.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        “no man in his thirties has anything to do with teenagers, but let’s not pretend they don’t try to have sex with them. Because they do.”

        Yes, I don’t doubt that there are some men that do this, Eve, but I KNOW for CERTAIN that the men I know and admire truly have ZERO interest in a 17-year-old, sexually or otherwise. That’s the “bar” that I use to gauge men-I don’t compare men to the worst, but to the best and it’s why I only ever date AWESOME guys.

        I would describe it as “pathetic” if he didn’t have a thriving acting career. But since he DOES have a career, it makes me think that he is someone who is incapable of dating his equal. He needs to date a 17-year-old groupie because he is so insecure and possibly prone to self-hatred that he can’t date an age-appropriate, strong-minded woman. I don’t know, does that make him “pathetic”? Maybe, but to me even “pathetic” evokes sympathy and I just don’t feel bad for this guy..

      • Eve says:

        Just in case it was somewhat implied — or that my comments may have been perceived that way — these (Franco, creeps) aren’t men I look for, or were the only ones I’ve date so far or the ones I look up to. I don’t admire nor I look up to people like Franco — I merely stated I didn’t have enough reasons for hating him for that RIGHT NOW. That’s all. I don’t like men like that. I’m embarrassed for them and for the girls they successfully pick up. Unfortunally for me, I haven’t been as lucky as you have: I’ve shared my share of meeting both assholes and nice people in “real life” (from both sexes, and not necessarily romantically).

        What really bugs me is seeing him (Franco) being vilified — to the point of being compared to predators and rapists — while others with a very similar behaviour are, at worst, just joked about. Lainey mocks guys who are far worse than him but never called them anything like that.

        For instance, what you said here “But since he DOES have a career, it makes me think that he is someone who is incapable of dating his equal. He needs to date a 17-year-old groupie because he is so insecure and possibly prone to self-hatred that he can’t date an age-appropriate, strong-minded woman.” That describes Leonardo DiCaprio do a T to me. Sure, he dates “older” women, but how much more mature is a 20-year-old girl than a 17 one? And his behaviour is just plain weird and creepy, it’s like she chooses his girls from Victorias’s Secret catalogues and Sports Illustrated editions — not to mention the way he treats them: they always walk one, two steps behind him. He barely talks to them during his dates to which, by the way, he brings his male friends along. Women seem to be just cum dumpters to him and yet, I have never seen him getting the same hate (Franco gets) here or at Layne’s. Sure, he *IS* criticized and mocked, but in a jockingly — almost affectionate — way. Never once I saw DiCaprio getting the same amount of hate Franco gets here. And, in my opinion, he’s just as gross as a man trying to pick up a teenage groupie on Instagram.

        So…you’re right about that: there may be some sympathy from me when I say what Franco did was more pathetic than anything else. Pathetic, gross, ridiculous, looser-like behaviour,..but still not enough to compare him to REAL criminals who predate young (as in “underage”) girls online. It is techically (and legally) wrong to call him that. At least, not yet.

      • Eve says:

        Corrrection: I’ve had MY share of meeting both assholes and nice people in “real life” (from both sexes, and not necessarily romantically).

  14. neelyo says:

    Yay for Leighton Meester! Smart move taking a supporting role in a Broadway show with an acclaimed director and its paying off. She’s getting good reviews across the board. I can’t wait to see this.

  15. lucy2 says:

    Wow, he is a delicate little snowflake, isn’t he?
    Criticism is part of his job. Responding that way only reveals his own immature ego, but I’m not terribly surprised.
    And if anyone should be embaRRassed, it’s the guy who brags about his college degrees, but can’t spell.

  16. Esmom says:

    I’m stopping in NYC on vacation this summer and really wanted to see the show (I love Chris O’Dowd and my son just read the book and loved it) but it closes three days before I arrive! I’m hoping it will be extended, but that seems doubtful.

    Franco needs to grow up and get a grip. He’s not just hurting himself with his stupid rebuttals, he’s dragging the whole cast down with his unprofessionalism, imo. Like someone else here said, he needs to go back to the kiddie table.

  17. Is it wrong to think that Chris O’ Dowd looks kinda hot with his hair shaved and in those dirty overalls? I haven’t felt this dirty since I watched Hiddleston talk to Cookie Monster about delayed gratification….

  18. Miss M says:

    I loved that Michael K called Franco “Douche of all trades”.

  19. Marianne says:

    Sorry Franco, but that writer’s opinion is just as valid as anybody else. Sucks that he thought you sucked, but learn from it and move on.

  20. Tania says:

    Wow. What a loser, as an actor isn’t one of the requirement to take criticisms. I was indifferent to him till that teenage incident. Now he’s just a creep.

  21. bettyrose says:

    Well the NYT has weathered other scandals but this might be the one to put them under. How will they ever overcome having embarrassed themselves this way?

  22. allons-y alonso says:

    James Franco is a rat-bag tosser. That is all.

  23. Karen says:

    I can’t stand him, what an over-inflated highly unpleasant human being. And I’m sorry, I’ve actually never watched a single film of his – douchebag antics aside, is he a good actor?

    I read an article about how he’s starting an acting school and just rolled my eyes.

    • maybeiamcrazy says:

      He is a douchebag. He sometimes pulls really good performances -127 hours, pineapple express etc.- , and sometimes he only plays himself with his squinty glory. -oz and dawn of planet apes etc. – Probably because these movies does not have artistic value so they don’t deserve Franco’s exceptional, one in a million-sarcasm- talent. -rolls eyes-

  24. Karen says:

    Also I love Chris O’Dowd. So. Much.

  25. Dani says:

    Once upon a time Franco was hot and normal. Oh how things change.

  26. Tig says:

    I loved Franco in Pineapple Express too! What happened to that guy??? I didn’t think the review was that awful, to be honest. Anyway, if this dust up causes more folks to see the play, that’s good exposure for Chris! But pls don’t let him stop doing comedies-that would be tragic!

  27. jbird says:

    His pillow case in the last pic looks like it needs to be soaked in bleach. Dis-gust-ing.

  28. Vl says:

    It is a love letter in disguise. Franco is creeping on underaged girls on instagram, so calling people little bitches is simply an endearment.

  29. paige says:

    I can never take anything he says or does seriously. Is he doing or saying things for “performance” sake or for a stupid dissertation he’s going to write someday on people’s obsession with themselves or celebritydom? I”ll forever think he’s an idiot… although a very funny one whenever he’s with Seth Rogen.

  30. The Original Mia says:

    Typical Franco response to criticism. He is a douche of epic proportions.

  31. whateveryouwantittobe says:

    I’m getting a very dark impression from him after all this, I have a sense that we will see much creepier behavior from him in the future. Someone reacting that way to a review in public is off, he comes across as controlling.

    And taking all these f-ing gross selfies after trying to pick up a young girl to use for sex is just… ew. he’s gonna become the sleaziest old man.

  32. Emily C. says:

    Can you imagine what would happen to an actress if she pulled half the crap he does?

  33. Suzy from Ontario says:

    Can’t stand him. He’s so full of himself. Reality is that he’s just not that great an actor.

  34. Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

    He should be embarrassed by the fact that as a self-described English PhD he can’t make it past grade four in terms of spelling ability.

    A critic sued Erik Satie for this very thing and won–however, character that he was, Erik Satie was an indisputable genius and the ballet Parade is wonderful. This dude is specializing in Kardashian Photoshop Mashup, so yes, he wins at ‘art’, I suppose.

  35. John says:

    From the How to Cost Yourself A Tony Nomination files. Brantley’s response was hilarious.
    Methinks Franco might want to stop Tweeting entirely until he figures out that it’s a public, essentially permanent way to screw yourself over.