Actress Charlyne Yi is calling for more than performative words from Seth Rogen. Rogen recently spoke out about his friendship and former creative partnership with James Franco in an interview with The Sunday Times, commenting on Franco’s sexual assault allegations. Franco was accused of inappropriate sexual behavior in 2014 and again in 2018 when he was accused by young women from his acting classes for manipulative and inappropriate behavior. Actresses Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal sued Franco, his business partners, and production company for engaging “in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior towards female students by sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects.” That lawsuit recently reached a preliminary settlement.
In the interview, Rogen is asked whether or not he believed that the allegations made against Franco were true. “What I can say is that I despise abuse and harassment and I would never cover or conceal the actions of someone doing it, or knowingly put someone in a situation where they were around someone like that,” Rogen explained. Rogen also expressed remorse over a joke that he made on SNL about Franco preying on young women, saying he “very much regrets making that joke,” calling it “terrible” in hindsight. “I also look back to that interview in 2018 where I comment that I would keep working with James, and the truth is that I have not and I do not plan to right now,” Rogen said.
While their working relationship seems to be over, Rogen declined to answer whether or not their friendship was over as well. “I don’t know if I can define that right now during this interview,” he said. “I can say it, um, you know, it has changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic.” When asked whether or not the situation was painful for him, Rogen replied, “Yeah. But not as painful and difficult as it is for a lot of other people involved. I have no pity for myself in this situation.”
Charlyne Yi, who was hired to work on the film The Disaster Artist and quit due to the allegations made against Franco, previously called out Rogen as “an enabler.” In the wake of his new comments about Franco, Yi gave Rogen a checklist on Instagram to ensure that his statements are not just empty words. “Apologize to survivors for making their lives even more vulnerable for publicly siding with an abuser, further damaging their careers & safety,” Yi began before encouraging Rogen to “commit to self education about coercion, sexual assault, and how to be a proactive ally.” She also charges Rogen to make protecting and hiring survivors a priority instead of caping for abusers like Franco.
Yi also pointed out the damage that Rogen previously siding with Franco has done and why he should apologize to the women involved. “Two rich which male celebrities publicly teaming up sends thousands of fans to attack & threaten the survivors physically and psychologically,” Yi explaiened. “This is not only dangerous for their mental health, but their physical being. This can cause denial, loss of reality/intuition to further protect self from future abusers, life-long health issues, attempt in suicide, and suicide.The survivors are discredited, careers damaged, & blacklisted.” Yi calls on Rogen to make things right by apologizing specifically to the women who have come forward and to “all the unnamed people who have anonymously shared, or been too afraid to. “