The new Hollywood Issue cover of Vanity Fair features all kinds of stars, from Zendaya to Oprah. However, one star is noticeably missing: James Franco.
After winning a Golden Globe and receiving a SAG Award nomination for his role in The Disaster Artist, some were surprised not to see him among the other stars, such as Gal Gadot, Reese Witherspoon and Robert De Niro. Suspicions arose over whether his absence was on purpose, given his recent sexual misconduct allegations. In a Los Angeles Times report from this month, five different women came forward with allegations against him.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Franco actually had been interviewed for the piece and posed for the cover shoot. For this issue, the stars were shot in smaller groups and then digitally merged together for the full image. Separate shoots were held in New York and Los Angeles to accommodate the stars participating, as Editor Jane Sarkin confirmed to E! News. However, when the cover was finally released on Jan. 25, Franco was not in frame. As The Hollywood Reporter stated, he was “removed from the cover digitally.”
A Vanity Fair spokesperson explained, “We made a decision not to include James Franco on the Hollywood cover once we learned of the misconduct allegations against him.”
His attorney, Michael Plonsker, has denied the women’s allegations against him. Also, before the Los Angeles Times report, Franco denied other claims against him that had appeared on social media, referring to them as “not accurate.”
On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Franco said, “In my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I’ve done. I have to do that to maintain my wellbeing. I do it whenever I know that there’s something wrong or needs to be changed, and I make it a point to do it. The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate, 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 anyway. It’s, I think, a good thing, and I support it.”
Other than Franco’s absence, the Vanity Fair cover shoot has also been in the spotlight because of some “Photoshop fails.”
In a separate shot, fans were quick to point out that Oprah Winfrey has more than the normal two hands. This lead to a Twitter conversation between her and Reese Witherspoon, who poses with Oprah in that image and also seems to have three legs.
“Well…I guess everybody knows now…I have 3 legs. I hope you can still accept me for who I am. ( and I will never apologize for snuggling @Oprah .. if you get the opportunity, I highly recommend it,” Witherspoon said in a tweet. Winfrey responded, “I accept your 3d leg. As I know you accept my 3d hand.”
Vanity Fair later tweeted jokingly, “While we would have loved the exclusive on @RWitherspoon’s three legs, unfortunately it’s just the lining of her dress…As for @Oprah, how can we expect her to juggle it all with just two hands?…(We are correcting this error online.)”
thumbnail photo: source