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Maggie Gyllenhaal Speaks Out About Allegations of Sexual Misconduct Against Costar James Franco

ETOnline logo ETOnline 6 days ago Leena Tailor‍
Maggie Gyllenhaal posing for the camera © Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Netflix

Maggie Gyllenhaal is speaking out about allegations of assault and sexual misconduct against her The Deuce costar James Franco.

The 40-year-old actor faced allegations of inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct earlier this year. Additionally, in her upcoming memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little, Busy Philipps claims that Franco broke character and “threw me to the ground,” while the two worked on Freaks and Geeks. Philipps said that Franco apologized the next day.

Speaking with SiriusXM host Sway Calloway on his daily show, Sway in the Morning, on Shade 45, Gyllenhaal -- who also became a producer on The Deuce -- shared how she took substantial action on set after news of the sexual misconduct allegations against Franco broke in January.

“I felt it was my responsibility to do the opposite of ignoring it,” she said. “At the time that the accusations against James came out in the LA Times, we read them all, we took them very seriously. We spoke to every woman on the crew and in the cast to find out if they felt respected and what their experience of working with James was and everyone said that they had been totally respected by him.”

Gyllenhaal, 40, added that she felt it was important for the series to continue given the nature of its content.

“Another thing that was really important was our show is about misogyny,” she explained. “It's about transactional sex. It's about inequality in the entertainment business. You couldn't be more at the center of that conversation than The Deuce. To me, I thought, ‘I want to keep telling this story. I want to keep playing Candy and going deep into what it's like from a woman's perspective to be dealing with all the stuff that is on everybody's minds right now. I want to put it on TV.’”

“I think I would have been so sorry not to be able to keep doing that and also not to be able to watch Emily Meade, who plays Lori, keep doing that [and] to watch Dominique, who plays Darlene, keep doing it and to watch all of these women who are creating these incredible characters that are taking it on straight on,” she continued. “I feel like it would've been the wrong consequence to those accusations to shut our showdown. It would've been, like, the opposite of the right thing to do. And yet I believe that there should be consequences for disrespecting or assaulting women. Of course, I do.”

Maggie Gyllenhaal holding a sign © Maro Hagopian

During the interview, Gyllenhaal also discussed newly sworn-in Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and her new Netflix movie, The Kindergarten Teacher, about a teacher who sees incredible potential in a 5-year-old student and goes to extreme lengths to protect his talent.

Pictures: Women who opened up on their sexual assault experiences

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