HBO “felt comfortable” proceeding with a second season of “The Deuce” after reviewing the accusations of sexual misconduct against James Franco and consulting with the show’s cast and crew, programming boss Casey Bloys said Wednesday.
“When the Franco issue came up, we talked internally,” Bloys told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour. “We read the LA Times article. We talked to the executive producers, to Maggie [Gyllenhaal], the actors and actresses on the set. We all felt comfortable moving forward with the second season.”
Bloys pointed to the network’s decision to cut ties with Russell Simmons and Mark Halperin — who faced accusations of rape and sexual harassment, respectively — as evidence of the network’s willingness to take action against troublesome behavior, but said the network did not see fit to end its relationship with Franco after reviewing the accusations against him.
Franco was accused of inappropriate conduct by five women, including multiple former students of his Studio 4 acting school, in a Los Angeles Times report in January. The women said Franco took advantage of their willingness to learn from an experienced actor to manipulate them into sexually exploitative situations.
In an interview after the report was published, Franco said some of the accusations being made against him were “not accurate,” adding that he supports victims of abuse speaking out and hoped not to “shut them down in any way.”
The network, which had already renewed “The Deuce” prior to the accusations becoming public, said later that it would not affect Franco’s involvement on the second season.
Bloys declined to comment the network’s decision to enlist Joss Whedon, who was accused of manipulative behavior by an ex-wife, for an upcoming sci-fi series, saying that he would not speak to the writer-producer’s personal life.