The actor recently spoke with the Sunday Times.
When the Sunday Times asked Seth Rogen about his current relationship with his old friend and frequent collaborator James Franco, the interview took a slightly darker turn.
"What I can say is that I despise abuse and harassment," Rogen said when asked if he believed the accusations of sexual misconduct that had been leveled against his former co-star a few years ago. "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."
When asked if he has worked with Franco since the allegations arose, Rogen said, "The truth is that I have not, and I do not plan to right now." James Franco had been accused publicly in 2018 by five women of sexual misconduct, including coercion and exploitation.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal additionally filed a lawsuit in 2019 saying that Franco used his now-closed Studio 4 acting school as "a pipeline of young women who were subjected to his personal and professional sexual exploitation in the name of education." The actor settled the suit this past February.
Additionally, actress Charlyne Yi wrote on Instagram last month that she attempted to quit Franco's The Disaster Artist after she had learned about the accusations, but said the production had "tried to bribe me with a bigger acting role." She called out Seth Rogen specifically as an "enabler" who had stood by James Franco. She also criticized a sketch that aired on SNL featuring Seth that "enabled Franco preying on children. Right after Franco was caught." Yi was referring to an incident in 2014 when Franco got caught propositioning sex to a 17-year-old.
"I do look back at a joke I made on Saturday Night Live in 2014, and I very much regret making that joke," Rogen said. "It was a terrible joke, honestly. 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." He also clarified that it was not a coincidence that their professional relationship ended after the allegations emerged.
But as for his friendship: "I don't know if I can define that right now during this interview," he says. "I can say it, um, you know, it has changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic." When asked if that was a painful thing to realize, Rogen said, "Yeah. But not as painful and difficult as it's for a lot of other people involved. I have no pity for myself in this situation."