James Franco in The Deuce (2017)

David Simon Is Facing Twitter Backlash Over His Defense of James Franco on The Deuce

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A piece for The Rolling Stone came out from Alan Sepinwall where he talked with writer and co-creator David Simon his HBO show The Deuce and, subsequently, the involvement of James Franco in the series. Franco has recently been back in the news after a lawsuit was filed with allegations of inappropriate behavior stemming from his “exploitative” acting school. There have been other reports in an LA Times story alleging that he disregarded a co-star’s consent and took off a guard meant to protect the modesty of an actor.

Within the Rolling Stone piece, Simon shared his views on the casting of Franco and how he and HBO evaluated keeping Franco on despite the allegations through their latest season. When many people took issue with his statements on Twitter, David Simon took to replying and furthering his points but seemed to make everything that much worse. One Twitter user, who didn’t enjoy the aspect of the story where Simon compares the allegations to the art they were creating, put as much in a tweet.

The Twitter thread started with David Simon’s quote-tweet of a response to the Rolling Stone piece.

Then Twitter user Sonia Saraiya responded to Simon’s defense of Franco.

From there is where the problem really beings. Simon doubled down on defending Franco and continued to, seemingly, have a problem with the Franco allegations making him out to be a predator in the same league as Weinstein, Cosby, Toback and beyond.

Saraiya pointed out multiple problems with Simon’s explanation of Franco addressing his allegations. Tweeting:

Now here comes the problem. Simon then brought up the “sexual predators” that Franco was being compared to with this graphic and his problem with that comparison.

The problem therein is that Franco is 41 years old. Everyone listed allegedly went after their victims for years and continued on until they were caught and are all nearly 30+ years older than James Franco. So the idea of us grouping him in with the same predators isn’t on a level of the same amount of crimes, but rather what he could have been capable of had the #MeToo movement not brought the darker aspect of Hollywood to life.

Many Twitter users began to reflect this with their responses to Simon.

To be quite honest, Franco’s placement in The Deuce is why I have not seen it. And to passionately defend a man who has been continually called out for his allegedly inappropriate behavior by using the idea that he’s not to the level of notorious predators isn’t a good look.

If David Simon would like to double-down on his dedication to Franco, fine. But we’re also allowed to respond to it.

(image: HBO)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.