Actor and Palo Alto native James Franco has become the latest high-profile man to face sexual-misconduct allegations.
Five women, four of whom were Franco's students and a fifth who said he was her mentor, spoke to the Los Angeles Times in a story published Thursday about "behavior they found to be inappropriate or sexually exploitative," The Times reported.
The allegations started to emerge on social media after Franco won best actor in a comedy or musical for his role in "The Disaster Artist" at the Golden Globes on Sunday. Franco wore a "#TimesUp" pin on his lapel, a reference to a newly launched effort to combat sexual harassment, assault and abuse in the workplace.
Franco's attorney denied the allegations to The Times. On "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" earlier this week, Franco described allegations made on social media as "not accurate" but said he would take responsibility for any wrongful behavior.
"The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate," he said. "But I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice because they didn't have a voice for so long. So I don't want to shut them down in any way."
"If I have done something wrong," Franco added, "I will fix it — I have to."
On Wednesday, The New York Times canceled a discussion about "The Disaster Artist" with Franco, stating that "given the controversy surrounding recent allegations, we're no longer comfortable proceeding in that vein."
Franco grew up in Palo Alto and graduated from Palo Alto High School. He returned to his alma mater recently to launch and teach a monthslong film class with local high school students.