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sarah tither kaplan
Sarah Tither-Kaplan. Photo by Betsy Newman (courtesy of Sarah Tither-Kaplan).

James Franco Wasn't Nominated for an Oscar. One of His Accusers Says We Still Need to Hold Him Accountable

Updated: Jan 23, 2018 9:54 PM ET

One of the five women who accused James Franco of sexually inappropriate behavior says the fact that he didn't get an Oscar nomination doesn't fix what allegedly happened, and she still wants an apology.

Sarah Tither-Kaplan was one of Franco's former acting students and was among five women to accuse the actor of sexually inappropriate and exploitative behavior in a Los Angeles Times report, allegations Franco denies. She told TIME on Tuesday that she wants Franco to be held accountable for his actions.

"This isn't about being malicious towards James or taking him down. This is about stopping his pattern of abuse towards women," said Tither-Kaplan. "That’s not going to stop just because he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar. He has to do the work of changing how he behaves and how he treats women."

"I'd rather him win ten awards so long as he stops abusing his power," she added.

Franco was widely expected to receive a Best Actor nod at the 90th Academy Awards for his role portraying filmmaker Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist, which he also directed. The snub follows the Jan. 11 Times report in which five women, including Tither-Kaplan and three other former students, accused Franco of inappropriate behavior.

Franco has repeatedly denied the allegations, but said he won't refute them in detail because he supports women speaking out amid the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. A spokesperson for Franco did not immediately respond to TIME's request for comment.

It's unclear whether the allegations, which were made public just a day before Oscar nomination voting closed, affected Franco's nomination chances, but many noted a potential connection on Tuesday.

Tither-Kaplan, 26, accused Franco of creating exploitive situations for "non-celebrity" actors during a class at his Studio 4 acting school and on film shoots, including situations in which she performed nude or topless. In one example, which was detailed by the Times, Tither-Kaplan said she saw Franco remove protective guards from other actors during a scene involving simulated oral sex in a yet-to-be released film, The Long Home. (Franco's attorney told the Times that the allegation about the incident was "not accurate.")

"I wish I had been strong enough to say no," she said. "I was a struggling actor — I didn’t have representation, I didn’t have financial security... I didn’t have bargaining power or the tools to speak up for myself."

Tither-Kaplan said she wants Franco to issue a detailed apology to her and the other women who have accused him. She also wants him to "use his power for good."

Correction: The original version of this story misstated Tither-Kaplan's accusation of inappropriate behavior against Franco. She said she witnessed Franco remove protective guards from other actors during a simulated oral sex scene that was being filmed; she did not accuse him of doing this to her.

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