David Simon and HBO have both issued statements addressing the accusations against The Deuce producer, director, and star James Franco. Five women, four of them former students, accused Franco of various instances of sexually manipulative behavior or abusing his power in a new piece in the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, which Franco denied or characterized as “not accurate” through his attorney. That piece prompted the comments from The Deuce’s co-creator and the network that airs the show, both of whom say that there have been “no complaints” about Franco on the set.
Simon went on to elaborate further. “I’m still reading it the same as everyone else, trying to discern what is or isn’t there,” he said. “Personally, I can only speak knowledgeably to The Deuce. I’ve checked with all my fellow producers and other personnel. We have no complainant or complaint or any awareness of any incident of concern involving Mr. Franco. Nor has HBO been approached with any complaint. In our experience, he was entirely professional as an actor, director, and producer.”
Though Simon’s statement is in the past tense, there has been no announcement about whether the allegations will have any effect on Franco’s future on the show, which has been renewed for a second season. Franco plays twins Vincent Martino and Frankie Martino on The Deuce, which surrounds the emerging porn industry in 1970s New York City.