Former sex icon Sharon Stone feels the #MeToo movement has gone to excessive lengths at times and has ruined lives over a few "awkward" sexual advances.
Speaking with Marc Maron on his "WTF" podcast, Stone defended actor/director James Franco against accusations of sexual misconduct. Having worked with him on last year's "The Disaster Artist," Stone said she was "appalled" by what happened to him, describing Franco as a "kind friend."
"I'm appalled by this thing about him that is happening. Now all of a sudden he’s a bad guy? I worked with him, I know him," Stone said. "He’s the loveliest, kindest, sweetest, elegant, nicest man. He's a kind friend, lovely professional. I'm absolutely appalled by this."
The actress described #MeToo as functioning as a sort of public kangaroo court, where men are destroyed "without due process."
"I don’t feel like these trials without due process are entirely appropriate," she continued. "I feel that it’s appropriate that people have to take responsibility for the actions, but I do feel that some due process is in order. There’s a range of activities. And you can’t charge somebody with a felony over a misdemeanor."
Although Stone might be right about the excesses of #MeToo, especially in regard to what happened with Aziz Ansari, the accusations against Franco have been rather weighty. As many as five actresses have accused him of "sexually exploitative" behavior on set, including his alleged removal of their plastic vaginal guards while they were simulating oral sex.
While Franco has not addressed specific allegations, he has said generally that the claims made about him were "not accurate."
"In my life, I pride myself in taking responsibility for things I've done. I have to do that to maintain my well-being. I do it whenever something needs to be changed," Franco told Stephen Colbert. "I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice because they haven’t had a voice for so long. I don’t want to shut them down in any way. It’s a good thing I support."
"If I have done something wrong, I will fix it — I have to," said Franco. "That’s how that works. I don’t know what else to do."
The allegations against Franco arguably cost him an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of F-movie actor Tommy Wiseau in "The Disaster Artist."