In an interview in the British newspaper The Sunday Times on Sunday (May 9), Rogen, 39, chose his words carefully when asked about his Disaster Artist (2017) co-star. Franco also directed the drama-comedy.
“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,” Rogen said.
He was also vague about future projects with Franco, who had worked with him on a number of comedies. They include Freaks And Geeks, the 1999 television series which launched both their careers, adult comedy Sausage Party (2016) and many more.
“I don’t know if I can define that right now during this interview. I can say it has changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic,” Rogen added, referring to the allegations, which Franco has repeatedly denied.
In 2018, five women, including Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, accused Franco of sexually inappropriate or exploitative behavior. They were former acting students at the film school Franco founded, Studio4.
When the accusations were first made in 2018, Rogen, who was a producer on The Disaster Artist, said he would keep working with Franco, but now says he has had a change of mind.
Speaking to the Sunday Times Magazine, Rogen said: “I … 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.”
In a lawsuit, the female students alleged they were pushed into taking part in explicit sex scenes “that went far beyond the standards in the industry”.
In a statement to The New York Times, Franco’s lawyer Michael Plonsker denied the accusations and called the lawsuit “ill-informed.”
Tither-Kaplan and Gaal reached settlement agreements with Franco earlier this year.