During Scarlett Johansson’s powerful remarks at the 2018 Women’s March, the actress allegedly lashed out at James Franco.
“My mind baffles—how could a person publicly stand by an organization that helps to provide support for victims of sexual assault while privately preying on people who have no power,” the star said at the podium, facing a Los Angeles crowd of thousands. “I want my pin back by the way.”
The actress’ rep later confirmed, Johansson was referring to James Franco, who was accused by five women of sexual misconduct in a recent Los Angeles Times report.
Meanwhile Franco’s attorney Michael Plonsker denied the women’s allegations to the newspaper.
While walking the red carpet at the 2018 Golden Globes earlier this month, the eventual Best Actor winner sported a Time’s Up pin seemingly in support of the movement, which aims to prevent sexual harassment, assault and inequality.
“I support change; I support 50-50 in 2020, which just means, you know, people that are underrepresented—women, and people of color, people in the LGBT community—get leadership positions [and] that they fill all positions that they’ve been deprived of,” the actor told Stephen Colbert while appearing on The Late Showdays after the ceremony.
“I completely believe in that. That’s why I wore it.”
In regard to claims against him that had surfaced on social media, Franco called them “not accurate.” “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,” he told Colbert.
“So, I don’t want to shut them down in anyway. It’s, I think, a good thing, and I support it.”
Johansson however used her opportunity at the microphone to address abuses of power and reflect on her own experiences as a young actress. “How is it ok for someone in a position of power to use that power to take advantage of someone in a lesser position just because you can? Does that ever make it ok?” she asked. “If a person isn’t saying yes, but they aren’t saying no, how can anyone feel justified to make that decision for them?”
In reaction to recent revelations in Hollywood and other industries, the actress experienced a range of emotions as she turned inward.
“Suddenly, I was 19 again and I started to remember all the men I’d known who had taken advantage of the fact that I was a young woman who didn’t yet have the tools to say no, or to understand the value of my own self-worth,” the Avengers star described.
“I had many relationships both personal and professional where the power dynamic was so off that I had to create a narrative in which I was the cool girl who could hang in and hang out, and that sometimes meant compromising what felt right for me and that seemed ok compromising my voice and therefore allowing myself to be unseen and degraded and whether it was intended by the other party or not because it allowed me to have the approval that women are conditioned to need.”
As she concluded her comments on their shared experiences as women subjected to expectation and conditioning, the star looked to the future with her daughter Rose in mind.
“For me, moving forward means my daughter growing up in a world where she doesn’t have to be a victim of what has cruelly become the social norm. That she doesn’t have to fit into the bindings of the female condition,” she stated. “Time’s up on the female condition.”