James Franco is reportedly returning for the second season of drama The Deuce despite facing claims of sexual misconduct.
Franco stars in a dual role as Vincent and Frankie Martino, twin brothers who get mixed up in New York City's 1970s prostitution and pornography filled underworld in the hard-hitting drama. The 39-year-old star has also directed episodes of the HBO show.
However, his participation in the second season of The Deuce has been in question since he was accused of inappropriate behaviour and abuse of power by five women last month (Jan18).
At the Writers Guild Awards (WGA) on Sunday (11Feb18), Megan Abbott, a story editor on the show told Entertainment Tonight that Franco would be returning, saying "of course" he would be back.
After the allegations against Franco became public, show creator David Simon told Variety that he was reviewing the accusations against Franco, but had received no complaints about the actor's actions while filming The Deuce.
"I'm still reading it the same as everyone else, trying to discern what is or isn't there," he said. "Personally I can only speak knowledgeably to The Deuce. I've checked with all my fellow producers and other personnel. We have no complainant or complaint or any awareness of any incident of concern involving Mr. Franco."
Among the inappropriate behavior, the star is accused of is removing protective vaginal guards from other actors during a scene involving simulated oral sex in an unreleased movie, The Long Home.
Promoting the show, which explores the exploitation of women in prostitution and the emerging 1970s pornography industry, Simon spoke about how he believed the increasing availability of porn had increased misogyny.
He told Britain's The Guardian newspaper, "Do I think we're better or worse off nowadays when a 12-year-old with a couple of keystrokes can access the entire construct of human sexuality right down to every misogynist fantasy, that that can be fed into a 12-year-old brain? Probably not a good thing."