In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that Franco ran a “Sex Scenes” master class at the now-defunct film and acting school Studio 4 and that “student-actors were encouraged to perform and improvise sexual acts during the audition process.” Franco, according to the suit, did not participate in tryouts. Instead, he taped them and “hand-picked” his students.

Franco stated on the podcast that Franco wasn’t responsible for selecting the participants to the class. It wasn’t my master plan. There were instances when I did agree to do something with a student, which was not a good thing. I suppose at the time, my thinking was if it’s consensual, OK. Of course I knew, talking to other people, other teachers or whatever, like, yeah, it’s probably not a cool thing. It was unclear to me at the time.

Franco, the lawsuit claimed, displayed “widespread inappropriate sexually charged behaviour towards female students by sexualizing power as a teacher or an employer through dangling roles in their projects.” The suit also claimed that students were “routinely pressured to engage in simulated sex acts that went far beyond the standards in the industry.”