Monday, November 13, 2017

Doesn't Daniel Franzese Have a Phone?

My heart goes out to Daniel Franzese for what sounds like a horrific experience on the set of "Bully" (2001), where he says he was harassed by costar Bijou Phillips about his sexuality and weight. The trauma he describes is palpable.

Still, this is just the kind of thing I was talking about in my weekend post "Women and Children First, Guys" -- do we really want to be calling out mean girls in the same conversation where dozens of women have come forward to say they were RAPED and THREATENED by motion-picture moguls? I can't help but wonder why he didn't simply CALL HER UP and confront her directly instead of turning to social media to air his grievances. (God knows she's available, she's home recovering from a kidney transplant.) He says he was inspired by fellow queer Ellen Page's sharing her experience while making "X-Men: The Last Stand." But there's a huge difference here, and not just the fact that Page is a woman and Franzese is a man. Brett Ratner is a big-shot film producer and director who was/is a serious threat to Page. Phillips was a 20-year-old costar with no clout. Obviously Franzese is free to do whatever he wants, but I'm concerned that people are continuing to muddy the waters. And if the Hollywood Reporter is going to write up every horrible thing someone ever did -- with no sense of proportionality -- they are going to need to hire a lot more reporters. (It's not like Meryl Streep or some LGBT icon treated him this way.)

To Phillips's credit, she immediately apologized for her disgraceful actions, after hearing about the situation on ... social media: 

"I want to write to address what Daniel has said. I don't remember that time well, those years are a blur. I was a teenager and reckless in my behavior," she told TMZ. "I know Daniel to be a trustworthy and honest person, and to find out through social media that I was not the friend I thought I was to him made me so sad."

She also stated, "I am so mortified by this behavior and have contacted Daniel and apologized to him privately. I am not and never have been homophobic. I have nothing but love for the LGBTQ community and Daniel." Franzese tweeted that he received her apology and that he accepted it. 

(Apparently it's gotten to the point where public shaming is the only way to find catharsis.)

As a friend put it: I'm sure she is awful and damaged but that wouldn't make me hate her less if I were him. I just think this is more like something you include in a long profile or something. It's not solo breaking news and it's just going to play into snowflake narratives.

Interestingly, Phillips's husband, Danny Masterson, has been accused of rape by FOUR women. 


Anonymous said...

i get your point about going to social media before first addressing his concerns privately, kenneth, but let's face it, her actions were very public, too - i can't fault him for simply choosing a bigger venue.

glad they ended in working through it as adults.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

I guess public shaming is the only way to find catharsis!

Anonymous said...

one point is almost certain, if she is truly remorseful, she'll think twice before doing it again. ;-)

jaragon said...

And I love how they all have selective memory

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