Actor James Franco will pay $2.2 million, about R$11 million, to settle a lawsuit alleging he forced theater students to act out increasingly explicit sex scenes on camera. Information is from The Hollywood Reporter. The actor is known for playing Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man trilogy. The proposed settlement was submitted to a Los Angeles judge for approval.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, two former students of Franco’s theater class, led the process in October 2020. While the #MeToo movement has shed light on all kinds of bad behavior in Hollywood and beyond, this was a rare case in which the alleged sexual exploitation became a class action. The complaint alleged that those who were taught by Franco at Studio 4 Film School in New York and Los Angeles were victims of fraud, sex discrimination and harassment.
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Franco agreed to “non-economic” terms for individual plaintiffs, although this is currently the subject of a motion. As part of the settlement, those involved agreed to a statement that reads: “While the defendants continue to deny the allegations in the complaint, they acknowledge that the plaintiffs have raised important issues and all parties firmly believe that now is a critical time to focus on dealing with the abuse of women in Hollywood. All agree on the need to ensure that no one in the entertainment industry – regardless of race, religion, disability, ethnicity, origin, gender or sexual orientation – faces discrimination, harassment or prejudice of any kind.”
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