ShareThis Page

Maggie Gyllenhaal defends 'The Deuce' in the wake of James Franco allegations

| Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, 5:45 p.m.
Maggie Gyllenhaal attends the Hamptons International Film Festival 2018 on Oct. 5, 2018 at Bay Street Theater in New York City, N.Y. (Sonia Moskowitz/Globe Photos/Zuma Press/TNS)
Maggie Gyllenhaal attends the Hamptons International Film Festival 2018 on Oct. 5, 2018 at Bay Street Theater in New York City, N.Y. (Sonia Moskowitz/Globe Photos/Zuma Press/TNS)

“The Deuce” star and producer Maggie Gyllenhaal defended resuming production on the HBO series despite costar James Franco being accused by several women of sexually inappropriate and exploitative behavior.

“It would’ve been the wrong consequence to those accusations to shut our show down,” she said Tuesday on SiriusXM’s “Sway in the Morning” when she was promoting her Netflix film, “The Kindergarten Teacher.”

“It would’ve been like actually the opposite of the right thing to do. And yet, you know, look, I believe that there should be consequences for disrespecting or assaulting women. Of course I do,” she added.

The topic came up when the host asked the actress about the latest scandal looming around Franco: Actress Busy Philipps had just contended Franco allegedly assaulted her in 1999 while they were working on the TV series “Freaks and Geeks.” (Franco allegedly broke character and pushed her, she said, then he later apologized.)

From there, Gyllenhaal segued into how “The Deuce” team handled the accusations against Franco when they were published in the Los Angeles Times in January. Franco has vehemently denied those allegations.

“Of course, as a producer, although I think I would’ve felt similarly as an actor, but I felt it was my responsibility to do the opposite of ignore (the allegations),” Gyllenhaal said. “At the time that the accusations against James came out in the L.A. 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.”

HBO and co-showrunner David Simon also defended the actor, saying no complaints about him were made and his behavior on the show was entirely professional. Last month, HBO announced that it was renewing “The Deuce” for a third and final season.

The Oscar-nominated actress also discussed her role in the cultural context, particularly how she asserted creative control as a producer on the show, which is a 1970s drama that revolves around sex workers and the porn industry.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me