James Franco and Aziz Ansari avoided the spotlight at the Screen Actors Guild Awards last night (January 21) following sexual misconduct allegations.
Ansari (Master of None) was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series, while Franco (The Disaster Artist) was up for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.
Ansari didn’t attend the SAG Awards – and when his name was read out, there was no applause from the audience. The award went to William H Macy.
Meanwhile, Franco did attend the ceremony but didn’t enter via the red carpet. He ultimately lost out in his category to Darkest Hour‘s Gary Oldman.
Alison Brie, who was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Comedy Series for GLOW, defended her brother-in-law Franco.
Speaking to E! at the 2018 SAG Awards, Brie said that “obviously” she supports her family, while also stressing that it’s important for people to “speak out and come forward” following the #metoo and Time’s Up movements.
At the 2018 #SAGAwards, Alison Brie addressed the allegations of sexual misconduct made against her brother-in-law, James Franco: "It remains vital that anyone that feels victimized should and does have the right to speak out and come forward." pic.twitter.com/dG5uJJVko7
— E! News (@enews) January 21, 2018
After the Golden Globes earlier this month, several women came forward on Twitter to accuse Franco of inappropriate sexual behaviour. Franco has publicly denied the allegations and later also denied claims of sexually inappropriate behaviour from five women. His attorney deemed them “not accurate”.
He was also criticised for wearing a Time’s Up pin, showing support for the movement, which aims to raise awareness of sexual assault and harassment as well as providing legal funds.
Elsewhere, a website recently published an account from a woman who went on a date with Ansari, which she described as “the worst night of [her] life”, outlining several claims of sexual misconduct.
In her account, she said: “I know I was physically giving off cues that I wasn’t interested,” adding that she “cried” the whole way home in a taxi because she felt “violated” by the experience.
Ansari has now given a full statement in response, in which he said he believed the interaction to be “completely consensual”.
“The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed okay’, upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable,” he added.
“It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned.
“I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.
“I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”
By Bea Mitchell