Yes, everyone is scurrying to pass judgment on the very eccentric James Franco, calling him out for being a mentally ill, creepy teenage-scouring-pedophile. But stop for a moment, perhaps you are underestimating the level of his insanity or because it’s Franco, his fra-ziness...
Did you know about Franco’s latest film Palo Alto? Not many people do. Palo Alto, surprise surprise involves Franco as a football coach having an affair with a teenager played by Emma Roberts.
The movie, which is based on a book written by Franco himself, is scheduled to air at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 24, 2014, and later on at the San Francisco International Film Festival on May 3, 2014.
There are two possibilities
- This is all staged as a cheap promotional gimmick for his latest film, or
- He was trying to pick up a girl on instagram
Now before we delve into either possibility, here’s a recap of how the alleged encounter transpired.
A Scottish teenager named Lucy visiting New York went to see James Franco and Chris O’Dowd on Broadway’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ on 1st April. Lucy, typical of today’s technologically adept youngsters, promptly posted photos and videos she took of the two actors on Instagram and tagged Franco in one of the photos she had taken. There’s also a video making rounds which has Franco asking the girl, “you gotta tag me” in the photos.
In no time, Franco initiated a conversation with the girl over Instagram Direct Messages and texts asking where she lives, her number, whether she had a boyfriend and if she wanted him to ‘rent’ a hotel room.
Lucy asked Franco to produce evidence that it really was him, asking him to take a photo of himself holding a piece of paper with her name. Which is exactly what Franco did.
Lucy then promptly shared all the evidence with the rest of the world via Imgur. The photos posted, since then have been removed.
Franco has not directly said anything on the subject, but he did make this curious little tweet;
I'M NOT! I HOPE PARENTS KEEP THEIR TEENS AWAY FROM ME. Thank you http://t.co/I1d4n3yVe0— James Franco (@JamesFrancoTV) April 2, 2014
Here’s the question: was Franco actually trying to hook up with this teenager? Given the nature of his role in the film (a middle age man having an affair with a teenager), the timing of the film’s airing (this month) and the nature of the controversy (picking up a teenager) the facts are all screaming that might just be a hoax for publicity. It’s just too much of a coincidence to be anything else.
Also keeping in mind Franco’s history of jokes his spoofs of love birds Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, chances are high that this is a marketing ploy to get everyone’s attention. And boy, have they got it.
This is mere speculation of course. There is still a very real possibility that he did indeed try to pick up a 17-year-old teenager on Instagram. For whatever little it is worth, the age of consent in New York is 17. Having said that, we wouldn’t put it past him to plan this publicity stunt because, come on, it’s Franco we are talking about.