James Franco was digitally erased from the cover of Vanity Fair after allegations of misconduct broke against the Oscar-snubbed actor.
Franco is under siege in Hollywood after becoming the latest big-name actor accused of misconduct in the post-Weinstein era. He is accused by multiple women of misdeeds during his time at Studio 4 and on the set of various independent films that Franco produced.
Before news of Franco’s misdeeds broke he was set to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair’s Hollywood Portfolio, which features the year’s biggest actors. Subtitled "12 Extraordinary Stars, One Momentous Year," the cover currently features Oprah Winfrey, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hanks, Michael B. Jordan, Zendaya, Jessica Chastain, Claire Foy, Michael Shannon, Harrison Ford, Gal Gadot, Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter, and Robert De Niro.
However, Vanity Fair admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that Franco was originally in the image but was digitally removed close to publication.
“We made a decision not to include James Franco on the Hollywood cover once we learned of the misconduct allegations against him,” a spokesperson for Vanity Fair said.
Sources speaking to The Hollywood Reporter said that Franco attended the photo shoot and also did an interview for the upcoming article. A rep for Franco did not respond to requests for comment.
Following Franco’s win for Best Actor at the Golden Globe Awards, allegations began to mount against the actor for questionable business practices on set of several of his indie films. The LA Times interviewed five women that accused Franco "of behavior they found to be inappropriate or sexually exploitative."
Franco responded to the allegations on a taping of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, saying, "I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I’ve done. I have to do that to maintain my well-being. I do it whenever I know that there is something wrong or needs to be changed. 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 any way. It’s, I think, a good thing, and I support it."
In addition to removing Franco, Vanity Fair also had to edit an earlier version of the cover photo which showed Oprah Winfrey with three hands. The publication apologized for the gaffe on Twitter, but noted that Reese Witherspoon’s third leg is actually just the inside of her dress and a trick of the lighting.