“This is the end” of their relationship.
Comedian Seth Rogen is distancing himself from longtime collaborator James Franco amid the latter’s scandal over alleged sexual harassment.
In a bombshell interview with the Sunday Times, the 39-year-old actor suggested that he had no plans to work with Franco, who was accused of sexual misconduct in 2014 and then again in 2018, CNN reported.
“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,” said Rogen when asked about the validity of the claims against his former colleague. The “Pineapple Express” star added that it was “not a coincidence” that he hasn’t worked with Franco in recent years.
Later on, Rogen expressed remorse over a controversial 2014 “Saturday Night Live” joke, in which he poked fun at his “The Interview” co-star for allegedly propositioning a 17-year-old girl earlier that year.
During the monologue, the Vancouver native had quipped that to make himself feel better, he had “decided to prank James Franco” by posing as a “way young” girl on Instagram.
“I very much regret making that joke,” “The Interview” director told the Sunday Times of the incident. “It was a terrible joke, honestly.”
Along with the 2014 Instagram incident, Franco had five women publicly accuse him of sexually exploitative and inappropriate behavior in 2018, claims which he denied through his lawyers. The “Spider-Man” star has since settled lawsuits with two of his accusers, former pupils at his now-shuttered acting academy Studio 4.
Speaking on how the scandal affected their professional relationship, Rogen said, “And 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.”
Until recently, the pair had starred together in numerous movies, including “The Invterview,” “Sausage Party,” “The Disaster Artist” and “Pineapple Express.”
The status of Rogen and Franco’s friendship also remains ambiguous in the wake of the allegations.
“I don’t know if I can define that right now during this interview,” the funnyman said. “I can say it, um, you know, it has changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic.”
And while Rogen admitted that the change was certainly “painful,” “it was not as painful and difficult as it is for a lot of other people involved,” he said.
He added, “I have no pity for myself in this situation.”