Vanity Fair Edits Out James Franco From Annual Hollywood Cover Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations

January 26, 2018, 3:52 PM UTC

The annual reveal of Vanity Fair‘s special Hollywood issue has become a buzzworthy event in pop culture circles over the last 20 years—not just for who made the cover but who didn’t.

Over the last few years, the discussion has frequently centered around the diversity (or lack thereof) among the celebrities chosen to be on the cover. This year, the #MeToo movement and the now-global discussion over sexual misconduct appears to have affected some last minute editorial decisions as actor James Franco was digitally erased from this year’s cast, which originally counted 13 famous actors and actresses.

“We made a decision not to include James Franco on the Hollywood cover once we learned of the misconduct allegations against him,” a Vanity Fair spokesperson told the Hollywood Reporter on Thursday.

At the beginning of the year, Franco had been considered a leading contender for an Academy Award nomination this year for his role in The Disaster Artist. He won a Golden Globe for the part in early January, but quickly attracted criticism for wearing a “Time’s Up” pin at the awards ceremony. Since then, at least five women have come forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct.

Related: How the Academy Plans to Avoid Another Envelope Mishap at the 2018 Oscars

Franco already had some late-night television appearances scheduled in the days after the Globes, and he tried to use those interviews to respond to some of those allegations, telling NBC’s Seth Meyers that the allegations against him are “not accurate,” but that he does not plan to “actively refute” the claims. Franco skipped the red carpet at the 2018 Screen Actors Guild awards last Sunday, but still appeared at the ceremony as he was nominated for best actor. However, it has been argued that the allegations dampened any hopes for an Oscar as he missed out on an Academy Award nomination on Tuesday.

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Meanwhile, the Vanity Fair cover has been stirring up some unexpected attention on social media for a few rather bizarre reasons, with many readers speculating over some potential Photoshop errors, including an “extra leg” on Reese Witherspoon and an extra hand from Oprah Winfrey.

Both entertainers, however, appear to have had a laugh over the revelations.

Along with Witherspoon and Winfrey, the cover also features Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks, Michael B. Jordan, Zendaya, Jessica Chastain, Claire Foy, Michael Shannon, Harrison Ford, Gal Gadot, Robert De Niro, and outgoing Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter.