James Franco: From Oscar Front-Runner To Snubbed In Only Two Weeks


Tommy Wiseau: I did not hit her. It’s not true. It’s bullshit! I did not hit her. I did not.
[throws water bottle on the ground]
Tommy Wiseau: Oh, hi Mark.
–“The Disaster Artist”

Folks, Hollywood is an incredibly fickle business. Nowhere has this been more obvious than in actor James Franco’s ascent from Oscar frontrunner, hot off his win for Best Actor at the Golden Globes on January 7, to his snubbing by the Academy today.

Were recent allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Franco the deciding factor for the Academy? Those allegations—and rumors of such—were floating since at least late last year. If anything, it seemed as if the buzz off his movie The Disaster Artist—a fictional “behind the scenes” adaptation of the cult movie The Room—sort of “protected” Franco from the rumors, even as some of his fellow actors got nailed and even replaced/fired from their gigs for the same.

It seemed like “everybody” wanted Franco to do well…if The Disaster Artist was about an “underdog” actor/filmmaker (Tommy Wiseau) who made good, then Franco’s recent spotlight for the movie itself—which he directed and starred in, alongside his brother—was a parallel to that. And when he took home the Golden Globe for best actor in a movie, it seemed he was “set” for the Oscars next. It seemed like he “beat” whatever rumors and allegations had been whispered about him.

But perhaps the Academy made the decision that they didn’t want another photo op like Kevin Spacey holding one of their trophies. By ignoring The Disaster Artist almost completely (it did get a nod for best Adapted Screenplay…which is like, if anything, a nod to Wiseau himself), they dropped the hammer on Franco by default. And it’s likely that the “floodgates” may now open on Franco himself by the media regarding the allegations.

Indeed, actress Scarlett Johansson just called him out at the Women’s March this past Sunday:

“My mind baffles, how could a person publicly stand by an organization that helps to provide support for victims of sexual assault while privately preying on people who have no power?”

Regardless of whether you think Franco is innocent or guilty, it’s always quite stunning to watch how the Hollywood Machine works. You’re either in…or you’re out. It would have been nice if Hollywood could have been this proactive and concerned with sexual misconduct 20, 10, even 3 years ago.

But quite often, the studios and corporations don’t “move” on these things unless the possibility of public humiliation—and therefore, potential lost revenue—is there. Then they suddenly scramble to fire, to cancel, to distance themselves, to create special committees. That’s “Hollywood Justice.”

Meanwhile, in Franco’s denials I cannot help but see the “ghost” of Wiseau’s famous line from The Room: “It’s not true! It’s bullshit!”