Ashley Judd Defends James Franco's Sexual Assault Allegation Response

Ashley Judd praised James Franco's response to sexual misconduct allegations, calling his comments "terrific" on Friday.

"I think that what James said is terrific," Judd told BBC journalist Stephen Sackur. "And I think that we've all behaved, at a certain level, unconsciously, and done things that were insensitive, inappropriate, without necessarily understanding that they were. I mean, we've all operated with a certain amount of tone deafness, and I like the culpability, and we have to have restorative justice."

Judd explained that the #MeToo movement is "about men and women being all together and having a more equitable and just workplace, home life, social spaces."

The Dolphin Tale actress continued, "We know that when women are empowered in the workplace and are in decision-making positions that workplaces have better financial outcomes and there's less harassment when there is more diversity. And it takes that kind of individual accountability to collectively make the change on a large scale."

Franco has been under scrutiny since he won a Golden Globe for The Disaster Artist on Sunday. During the ceremony, two women accused Franco of sexual misconduct. On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported on three other allegations of sexually exploitative behavior from Franco.

Between the Globes and the Times report, Franco appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, where he was asked about the allegations.

"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… I don't want to shut them down in any way. I think it's a good thing and I support it," the actor said.

He continued, "I can't live if there's restitution to be made. If I've done something wrong, I will fix it. I have to. I don't know what else to do. As far as the bigger issue of how we do it, I really don't have the answers. I think the point of this whole thing is that we listen. I'm here to listen and learn and change my perspective where it's off. I'm completely willing and want to."


Franco did not appear at the Critics' Choice Awards on Thursday, although he won another award for The Disaster Artist. He also has a Screen Actors Guild nomination and is expected to get an Oscar nomination for the film.

As for Judd, she has been a longtime advocate for womens' rights. She told the New York Times in October that she was sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein early in her career.