One of the celebrities that irritated me recently was Sharon Osbourne in her defense of James Franco.
I like Sharon and I don't hate her for this. Liking is important, though, because clearly her issue was that she liked James Franco and did not want to believe bad things about him.
I am sure it was easy for her to say that the accusers were just looking for their chance at fame, because everyone says that, even though we have already gone over that this would be a terrible strategy and doesn't seem to accurately convey anything. That has not affected its popularity.
Beyond that, for the students who were taking a class on sex scenes, Osbourne's response was "What did they expect?"
I want to deconstruct that a bit.
First of all, everything I have ever read from actors on sex scenes is that they aren't sexy at all. There are all of these details that you need to remember about blocking, which gets more complicated due to the physical proximity of the actors and the desire to make things look more intimate than they are. While remembering all of these unsexy details, you need to convey a completely different set of feelings and emotions. And it is awkward, because any body insecurities you have can come out, along with any concerns about significant others or your parents seeing the finished product.
Given that, I would expect a workshop on doing sex scenes to cover safety, tips and tricks for making some things look better, and some key coverage of breaking the ice with and being supportive to your coworker.
Osbourne's comment seemed to indicate that if an actor is holding a special workshop for sex scenes, he is doing it as a prowling opportunity, which is not exactly good faith, and I imagine would be highly unnecessary.
(One of the accusations is that he removed plastic guards that act as shields between bodies, so maybe his class wasn't safety-focused.)
It is still easy to formulate something in there are about women being stupid gold-diggers.
As it is, I know that the reason some people participated in Studio 4 is specifically to get parts, because when you don't have any connections getting you into promising auditions, a class that not only teaches you something but has specific access to roles sounds really good, and worth the investment. (Studio 4 had a monthly $300 tuition.)
Even more than that, I can totally imagine young women not only hoping to get jobs but also daydreaming about Franco himself. Maybe he will like me. Maybe he will ask me out. Is that dumb? Maybe, but it's nice to have daydreams, and it doesn't have to be harmful. It certainly doesn't mean that when it only partially comes true, so he is interested in you, but his interest is in degrading you -- you did not earn that.
It is a fairly good example of the uneven power dynamics. It is not just that Franco has the reputation to seem like a good choice as an acting teacher, and that he has the resources to set up classes that look legitimate, but he also has the famous friends who will stand up for him.
The really weird part to me is that Franco has seemed to revel in the weird parts of his reputation, where he might do something like that, but that doesn't seem to stop people from defending him.
It must be great being famous.