James Franco was removed from the cover of the annual Vanity Fair Hollywood issue, following the allegations of sexual harassment against him.
Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that while he sat for photos with Annie Liebovitz, who shoots the cover every year, and was interviewed for the accompanying piece, he was later ‘removed from the cover digitally’.
Vanity Fair has since confirmed the move.
“We made a decision not to include James Franco on the Hollywood cover once we learned of the misconduct allegations against him,” said a spokesperson for the magazine.
Oprah Winfrey, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hanks, Michael B. Jordan, Zendaya, Jessica Chastain, Claire Foy, Michael Shannon, Harrison Ford, Gal Gadot, Vanity Fair’s outgoing editor-in-chief Graydon Carter and Robert De Niro all feature on this year’s Hollywood issue cover.
But it’s said to be a ‘highly unusual’ move to have one of its cover stars removed so close to the issue’s publication.
Franco is facing accusations from five women of sexual impropriety, following a report in the Los Angeles Times.
Four of the women attended his film school, and another Franco mentored.
He addressed the claims during an appearance on The Late Show earlier this month, telling Stephen Colbert: “Look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I have done.
“I have to do that to maintain my well being. 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. So I don’t want to shut them down in any way.”
“If I have done something wrong,” he added, “I will fix it – I have to.”
Two of the women, Violet Paley and Sarah Tither-Kaplan, appeared on Good Morning America this week, and said that Franco is yet to apologise to them.