James Franco: the “gay rapist” blind item pinned on him was “so offensive”

James Franco jumped the shark big time when he flopped at the Oscars earlier this year. The material was crap but James didn’t seem to try at all, nor did he ever take responsibility for failing to entertain us. Instead it was everyone else’s fault: his co-host Anne Hathway was a “Tasmanian devil,” he “played those lines as well as well as [he] could,” and then got indignant that people dared question his performance. Well it’s more of the same from Franco in his latest Playboy interview. The material was bad, he was trying to play the straight man to Hathaway, and he warned producers that it wasn’t going to go over well. I understand that take on it, I mean I basically said the same thing when I first reviewed the Oscars, but the fact that Franco still refuses to take even a small amount of responsibility for his performance really bugs me. He’s all about pointing fingers and playing the victim while Hathaway has been nothing but gracious about it. He could have come up with a way not to sound so above-it-all by now, but he hasn’t since he’s incapable of seeing it any other way.

On his crap showing as Oscar co-host
“It’s hard to talk about because it’s like assigning blame — not a fun thing to do. For three or four weeks we shot the promos and the little film that played in the opening,” he says. “In the last week, when we really started focusing on the script for the live show and did a run-through, I said to the producer, ‘I don’t know why you hired me, because you haven’t given me anything. I just don’t think this stuff’s going to be good.'”

“I just didn’t want to fight anymore, even when they said, ‘You’ll come out as Marilyn Monroe. It’ll be funny.’ Me in drag is not funny,” Franco continues. “Me in drag as Cher trying to sing like her is a thing. That didn’t happen, so then I just didn’t want to argue anymore. I was going with their program; I wanted to do the material they gave me, not be one of the many cooks doing the writing. There were a lot of cooks who shouldn’t have been cooking but were allowed to. There were some cooks my manager tried to bring in, like Judd Apatow, who wrote some very funny stuff that wasn’t used.”

Still, he gave it his best, with his low-energy performance actually functioning as an intended foil to Hathaway’s highly spirited effort. And when it was all over, the initial feedback was positive.

“After the show everybody was so happy, and Bruce Cohen, the show’s producer, hugged me and said, ‘Steve Spielberg just told me it was the best Oscars ever!'” he reveals. “As far as having low energy or seeming as though I wasn’t into it or was too cool for it, I thought, Okay Anne is going the enthusiastic route. I’ve been trained as an actor to respond to circumstances, to the people I’m working with, and not force anything. So I thought I would be the straight man and she could be the other, and that’s how I was trying to do those lines. I felt kind of trapped in that material. I felt, This is not my boat. I’m just a passenger, but I’m going down and there’s no way out.”

On the “Gay Rapist” Blind Item that people try to pin on him
One blog thread that he can’t abide, though, is the one falsely connecting him with the infamous Gay Rapist blind item that appeared in the New York Post in 2008.

While Franco quickly debunked speculation that he was the anonymous perpetrator — the alleged victim himself insisted that he didn’t know him — it didn’t stop blogs from running the story — and worse.

“Then Gawker picked that up and did this ‘Gay Rapist’ story that was so f*cking offensive because I have friends who have been raped,” he remembers. “They did a very classy online reader’s poll asking which actor who had a big movie out that summer had beaten up and raped his boyfriend and then paid him off so it wouldn’t go to court… My lawyer called them and said that it was completely untrue and to take it down. They said, ‘Well, we’re just reporting what the New York Post told us. If James wants to make a comment on our blog, we’re happy to report it.’ It was a choice. Either let this thing build and become bigger and bigger, or just let it go and let them be the petty scumbags that they are.”

[From Playboy via The Huffington Post]

I feel for Franco over the gay rapist rumor. Everyone did assume it was him and he got tagged with that label online for quite a while. (And I don’t blame Gawker for just stating what so many people were already talking about. Here’s more on that, along with a potential other solution to the BI that is possibly fan fiction.) It’s just that when Franco gets so indignant over everything, when he acts like such a douche and goes on attack mode whenever people criticize him, it’s easy to believe the worst of him. That doesn’t make it fair, though.

Doesn’t Franco look like hell here? He can be so sexy when he’s cleaned up and had a good night’s sleep too.


Franco is shown at an Amfar gala on 6/14/11. Credit: WENN.com

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17 Responses to “James Franco: the “gay rapist” blind item pinned on him was “so offensive””

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  1. Eve says:

    Oh, I remember that Blind Item but most people were guessing either Christian Bale or Edward Norton. I don’t think I read Franco’s name among the guesses.

  2. Girafe99 says:

    I use to be attracted to Franco but he has seem to lost whatever made me like him

  3. MarenGermany says:

    my ex-boyfriend was like that. getting offensive whenever he got critizised, always firing back when somebody tried to put blame on him.
    To be fair, most of the time everything he was doing was fine, but even when he had the smallest slips he just couldnt admit it.
    A personality like that is SO frustrating, to a point where you just want to go and punch a wall, because it really is like talking to a wall.

  4. carrie says:

    the “gay rapist” from NY Post blind item was Will Smith .
    Someone wrote to GAWKER that Will Smith had sex with his boyfriend a few too violently and he went to hospital

    i don’t see why the “gay rapist” can be Bale or Norton :they’re straight

  5. WillyNilly says:

    “There were a lot of cooks who shouldn’t have been cooking but were allowed to. ” WHAT A BITCH. Seriously.

  6. WillyNilly says:

    I’m with Carrie, most folks thought it was Will Smith, from what I remember.

  7. natalie says:

    James is adorable and looks like a hot mess in that picture. Love him!!!!

  8. Anti-icon says:

    I am a pretty decent consumer of gossip and I didn’t know about the gay rapist blind item. But I have given this guy about as much mind space as I can tolerate. He seems like a emo-child who needs to grow up and stop whining about his station in life. People (regular folks, James Franco) deal with rumors and lies and deceipt being spread about us all the time — at the PTA, at the church; at the bar; at the bank; at the medical clinic. Especially when contentious divorces as the “reason” — not the spotlight of fame and fortune. So suck it up and stop trashing the benefits of your “special” status you’ve been given, jerk.

  9. Christine says:

    @anti-icon, will you marry me?

  10. Anti-icon says:

    #9: Christine. Why yes, I will. I do. Done. I have a partner in life. Thanks!!!!

  11. ZenB!tch says:

    *Ironman actor Robert Downey Jr. has also been tossed into the gay rape mire, perhaps because of his past romantic relationship with Sarah Jessica Parker.*

    LMAO! Yes, that is a very good point. I don’t see RDJ is a rapist but any man who dated SJP, I do see as gay. She looks like a man, baby!

    How is it that I *love* Carrie so much and am utterly repulsed by SJP?

  12. Truthful says:

    I wish he’d shave, yuck

  13. Esmeralda says:

    I CAN see him being mega-pissed over the gay rapist rumor; I CANNOT see him being pissed over his part in the Oscars. He freely admitted that he saw it as a boat going down and participated as little and as passively as possible to save the ship. So that’s not his schtick, admit it and move on. Done.

  14. Twinkle says:

    I can’t see your name but I’d say its casue SJP is such a good actress! You have to admit, if you can’t stand an actress off screen but fall in love with her on screen then she’s just a great actress.
    Example…Julia Roberts:)

  15. Turtle Dove says:

    Anti-icon – I like the way you say, “I am a pretty decent consumer of gossip…” Well stated.

  16. Gypsy says:

    I’ve stopped reading those blind items because I have finally figured out who creates them, it’s some “socially inept pimple faced loser in his parents basement dreaming up wild fantasies’ and somewhat sensible people actually believe these dumb things.

  17. Shoe_Lover says:

    @ ZenB!tch: I used to get really annoyed by SJP too but I now completely love her. If you watch her Graham Norton and David Letterman interviews you’ll understand why. She came across as very sweet, warm and charming with a great sense of humour and she just made me smile. Even my incredibly difficult to please father was taken with her

    On topic- James Franco is a whiny little b!tch