Scarlett Johansson tells James Franco she wants her Time’s Up pin back in scathing Women’s March speech

Scarlett Johansson has attacked James Franco in her speech at the Los Angeles Women’s March.

hollywood Updated: Jan 21, 2018 15:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Scarlett Johansson,ames Franco,Time’s Up
Scarlett Johansson says she wants her pin back.(Agencies)

Actor Scarlett Johansson launched a scathing attack on actor James Franco at the Los Angeles Women’s March on Saturday. She called him out for supporting the Time’s Up initiative publicly but ‘privately preying on people who have no power.’

“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?,” she said in a speech to the 500,000-strong crowd gathered in downtown LA to protest US President Donald Trump and to support women’s rights. “I want my pin back, by the way,” she added after a pause.

James Franco and several other actors wore a Time’s Up pin to the Golden Globe Awards on January 7. He won the Best Actor in a Comedy award for his film The Disaster Artist. Shortly after, as many as five women (aspiring actors and one he had a ‘consensual relationship’ with) accused the actor of sexual misconduct. Franco denied all allegations.

Scarlett Johansson attends Women's March Los Angeles 2018 on January 20. (AFP)

While Johansson didn’t take Franco’s name in her speech, her representative confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that she was indeed talking about him. She is also one of the original 300 members to sign on to Time’s Up, an initiative to provide aid to victims of sexual crimes.

Johansson also talked about her own experiences in her speech. “Suddenly I was 19 again and I began to remember all the men who had taken advantage of the fact that I was a young woman who didn’t yet have the tools to say no, or understand the value of my own self-worth. I had many relationships both personal and professional where the power dynamic was so off that I had to create a narrative that I was the cool girl who could hang in and hang out, and that sometimes meant compromising what felt right for me,” she said.

James Franco (L) poses with his brother Dave Franco backstage after winning the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for The Disaster Artist. (REUTERS)

Of her own behaviour, she said she had previously felt the need to be polite to the powerful in order to get along. “It allowed me to have the approval that women are conditioned to need,” she said. But no longer.

Stressing that her new motto is about “no more pandering,” she said she would no longer feel guilt or shame over rebuffing men who behave inappropriately towards her.

“If a person isn’t saying ‘yes’ but they aren’t saying ‘no’, how can anyone feel justified to make that decision for them?,” she said.

Since the Golden Globes, actor Aziz Ansari has also been accused of sexual assault. He too wore a Time’s Up pin to the ceremony.

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First Published: Jan 21, 2018 15:28 IST