What Maggie Gyllenhaal Had to Say About the Assault Allegations Against Co-Star James Franco
Despite the slew of damning allegations that swirled around James Franco at the onset of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, the actor has more-or-less bounced back.
For example, the HBO series he stars in and produces alongside Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Deuce, is back for season 2 this fall.
In addition to the allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against the 40-year-old, former co-star Busy Philipps recently detailed an incident from nearly 20 years prior in which Franco had screamed at her mid-take and pushed her to the ground.
When pushed to discuss the allegations on radio show Sway in the Morning, Gyllenhaal, 40, revealed why she felt it was important that the show go on despite the negative buzz surrounding its star.
“I felt it was my responsibility to do the opposite of ignore it,” she said of the allegations. “At the time that the accusations against James came out in the LA Times, we read them all, we took them very seriously. We spoke to every woman on the crew and in the cast to find out if they felt respected and what their experience of working with James was and everyone said that they had been totally respected by him.”
“Another thing that was really important was our show is about misogyny,” she said of The Deuce, which explores the sexual commodification that rose out of New York City in the ‘70s. “It's about transactional sex. It's about inequality in the entertainment business. You couldn't be more at the center of that conversation than The Deuce. To me, I thought, ‘I want to keep telling this story. I want to keep playing Candy and going deep into what it's like from a woman's perspective to be dealing with all the stuff that is on everybody's minds right now. I want to put it on TV.’”
Gyllenhaal also felt it wasn’t fair for Franco’s actions to impact the rest of the cast and crew. “I think I would have been so sorry not to be able to keep doing that and also not to be able to watch Emily Meade, who plays Lori, keep doing that [and] to watch Dominique, who plays Darlene, keep doing it and to watch all of these women who are creating these incredible characters that are taking it straight on. I feel like it would've been the wrong consequence to those accusations to shut our show down. It would've been, like, the opposite of the right thing to do," she said.
"And yet I believe that there should be consequences for disrespecting or assaulting women. Of course I do.”