Recently, Charlyne Yi blasted Seth Rogen as an “enabler” to James Franco’s sexual harassment and offensive behavior towards women. Rogen and Franco were good friends – perhaps even BFFs – for many years, since they were teens, basically. In a 2014 episode of SNL, Rogen even “joked” about the rumors around Franco at the time, which is that he was actively grooming teenagers online. Rogen’s SNL joke was: “I decided to prank James Franco. 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.” In a new interview, Rogen addressed the current state of his relationship with Franco and apologized for that 2014 joke:
On Charlyne Yi’s “enabler” comment: “What I can say is that I despise abuse and harassment, and I would never cover or conceal the actions of someone doing it, or knowingly put someone in a situation where they were around someone like that.”
On the SNL joke: “I do look back at a joke I made on ‘Saturday Night Live’ in 2014 and I very much regret making that joke… 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.”
On his current relationship with Franco: “I don’t know if I can define that right now during this interview. I can say it, um, you know, it has changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic.” In response to the Times’ comment that the situation “must have been painful,” Rogen said: “Yeah. But not as painful and difficult as it is for a lot of other people involved. I have no pity for myself in this situation.”
I have nothing to say here, honestly. I’m not going to cape for Rogen, I think he probably laughed at some terrible sh-t back in the day and he likely did enable Franco’s bad behavior and all of that is on him. He has to own that. But I do think these comments are a step in the right direction, and I hope that everyone has room to grow.
Rogen was also on the Howard Stern Show and he told a long, involved story about meeting with Tom Cruise in 2006, shortly after Suri Cruise was born. Some highlights from that:
On meeting Suri: “There was this very weird period, where he had had his child, but no one had seen his child and there was genuine speculation as to whether the child was real. I remember meeting this baby, being like, ‘This poor baby doesn’t know she’s like the most talked about person on the planet.’ Which is a lot of pressure.”
On Cruise talking about Scientology at the meeting: “A few hours into the meeting, the Scientology stuff comes up. He said, ‘I think the pharmaceutical industry is making me look bad.’ He said, ‘You should see what they do to my friend Louis Farrakhan.’ I’ll never forget the wording he used. ‘It’s like with Scientology,’ he said, ‘If you let me just tell you what it was really about… just give me like 20 minutes to, like, really just tell you what it was about, you would say, ‘No f–king way. No f–king way.’ The wording, I was like, ‘Is that a good thing to be saying?’”
Rogen looked at Judd Apatow at that point: “And I’m like, ‘Is he gonna bite? Am I gonna bite? Can we come out of this? Are we strong enough to have him do this to us and not be converted? I don’t know if I am. I’m generally a weak-willed, weak-minded person. I would assume on the grand scale of people, if they got [Tom], what chance do I have?’”
The end of the story is just that Apatow changed the subject away from CoS and they got back to talking about work. The thing about Louis Farrakhan is wild though. The whole story is wild. I feel like a lot of Hollywood people probably have similar stories about Tom Cruise – like, Cruise is legitimately respected by his peers for his work ethic and his managerial skills. But I would love to hear Cruise costars like Emily Blunt, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Cobie Smulders and more talk about how weird it is to have meetings with Cruise where he starts in on the Scientology pitch.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.
It really seems like Rogen has finally grown up. He was an unrepentant asshole for years towards Katherine Heigl well after her career crashed so I never thought that would happen.
It’s got to be weird to discover a close friend is truly that terrible
He didn’t “discover”. He knew and participated. It’s just now that he’s “repenting”. He needs to look at himself and his work, too, and see how he’s contributed to this.
I applaud Seth’s response, it shows a lot of maturity on his part. But I think Seth is still low-key friends with James Franco given the way he worded that. He won’t ruin his career by working with him or enable him in any way but they’re still friends. I also think it’s unfair to put James Franco’s actions on Seth or expect him to give up a lifelong friend overnight too. No one wants to believe that they know someone who is capable of sexual violence and I do have sympathy for that. It’s not as easy as taking a PR person and saying “I regret being associated with this person.” I think that’s a personally painful position to be in and I think it’s unfair of the media to expect all of their friends to just go along with it immediately, even if the person is guilty.
Everyone around James knows. Maybe not the extent, but they know.
They know now. I will give some benefit of a doubt that Seth and all of James friends knew he held messed up views regarding women but didn’t realize he would act on them.
@notsosimpletaylor. I know some of these people (including James) personally. They knew.
The accusations against Franco are not new and back then he already knew that and admitted that he would still work with him, that was years ago. And I do think that we need to hold the men accountable who keep on protecting and excusing their abuser friends. That’s the exact environment that let Weinstein and numerous other abusers off the hook because in the end, their powerful friends will stay by their side no matter what and rather put the victims on a few blacklists.
Agreed. He knew. He’s just using his stoner persona/cool comic vibe to try to weasel out of responsibility or consequences. He knew and actively promoted that. White men and boys get all the chances, don’t they? Meanwhile, we Black folks get murdered for breathing.
I like that he didn’t know how to define their relationship at the moment. It’s a process, someone you know for quite sometimes suddenly is not what you think he is. It’s must be weird. He is not enabling him anymore that’s a good start.
I’m somewhat critical of Seth at times, but after coming off of Chrissy’s apology Seth’s seems like true perfection.
The Tom Cruise stuff is weird the way he says it. I’m sure it’s a very intense, intimidating and awkward situation with someone of that status in their industry.
Isn’t Judd apatow a POS as well? I’ve heard from waitresses and retail workers that him and his wife are MEAN. Obviously that isn’t as bad as bad being abusive though… I don’t know, I’m over this whole crew of people to be honest.
Ditto, the Ellen Degeneres crew too. Basically any adult that’s cliquey low-key freaks me out.
Good for you Seth! And Louis Farrakhan is totally antisemitic..
I think I might be biased against Set, but after the way he talked about Katherine H after their movie and then almost did the same to Emma W; now he seems to be trying to do the bare minimum to keep a clean image and distance himself; at leas publicly; from Franco.
Who is he kidding? I don’t buy any of his fake “repentence” regarding Franco. They’ve been best friends since F&G and of course he KNEW what Franco was up to. And I really think he enjoyed some of that as well…
He just wants to save his carreer and yet remains ambivalent about his relationship with Franco. Nice move. Fair enough.
But his “apology” for his joke and for how he said in 2018 that he’d continue to work with Franco is hard to believe…a bit like Justin Timberlake apologizing to Britney or Janet…
After all, Franco wore his Time’s up pin at the beginning of 2018.
In terms of working with Franco, I don’t like the “I do not plan to right now.” What does that mean? It sounds like he’s keeping the door open for potential collaborations in the future, in which case, can this even be classified as an apology.
I don’t get Cruise’s comments about Pharma going after Louis Farrakhan but Cruise defending Farrakhan doesn’t surprise me since Leah Remini revealed how deeply CO$ infiltrated NOI and essentially took them over on her show. For me, as a Jew, to feel a little bad for the former NOI members she interviewed (knowing what they believe about us and the lies they perpetuate about us) says something
He didn’t technically say he wasn’t friends with Franco anymore. He pretty much side stepped that question.
It really makes me wonder where Franco’s career is headed right now if even Rogen, an actual friend, isn’t willing to work with him or even defend him. It seemed he would originally escape consequences but the projects since the allegations seem to have either been filmed prior or, the one upcoming Kill the Czar seems more like a cameo. The Deuce was canceled not long afterwards. Sure covid played a part but his career seems pretty quiet right now.
He has a very profitable business in marijuana, as I understand it.