Maggie Gyllenhaal sat down with New York Magazine to discuss HBO’s The Deuce, and the subject of her co-star James Franco inevitably came up.
Franco, of course, has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. Most recently, Busy Philipps detailed Franco’s alleged assault of her on the set of Freaks and Geeks. Throughout, Gyllenhaal has been cautiously supportive of Franco while simultaneously saying she supports the #MeToo movement.
Several observers have called her out on the disconnect, and have suggested that she is motivated to support Franco because she wants The Deuce to continue. When NYM asked her to describe her “thought process,” she said: “Like I said before, in this moment of change, in this incredible moment for women, it’s important to think as deeply and as carefully and as specifically and in as nuanced a way as you possibly can. Simple black-and-white thinking or action is always going to be problematic.”
Regarding Franco specifically, she said: “I was part of a group of intelligent, thoughtful people on The Deuce — David Simon and George Pelecanos and also Richard Plepler, who runs HBO […] we took the allegations really seriously — learned everything we could about them. All of us felt that it was important to talk to the people who were on our crew and in our cast and make sure they felt that they’d been treated with total respect and felt safe — everybody did.”
She continued: “I would say he’s walking right into the eye of the storm — he’s continuing the conversation with the work that he’s doing. I don’t think there’s a way to do this show without consciously knowing that you’re part of a larger conversation about exploitation and misogyny.”