How Can Seth Rogen Avoid Becoming the Next Matt Damon?
For the last year or two, Matt Damon has managed to deliver more tone-deaf, misguided statements about our current cultural climate than any other so-called progressive A-list star in America. Press tour after press tour, Matt Damon has found new and novel ways to stick his foot in his mouth and completely rob himself of his good-guy status. We basically had to create a new weekly feature called, “What Dumbass Thing Did Matt Damon Say Today?”
Matt Damon’s tone-deafness, particularly when it comes to sexual misconduct, has been exacerbated by the fact that he’s best friends with two of the more notorious names among those who have been accused of sexual misconduct — Afflecks, Casey and Ben — and he has too often put his loyalty to his friends ahead of his belief of women.
We don’t want that to happen to Seth Rogen. We still like Seth, although we’re not thrilled with his associations. Indeed, over the course of the last few days, James Franco has been accused of sexual inappropriate behavior by a number of women, and we know how Hollywood works, and in this case, how it should work: If you are best friends with someone who has acted inappropriately, you will be asked about your thoughts on the matter. We’ll probably continue to see Seth Rogen on the red carpet at awards shows, and even if he begs off of those under these circumstances, he’ll be asked about Franco on his next press tour (he has three movies scheduled for release this year).
So, we did some brainstorming here at the Pajiba offices, and we tried to figure out how Seth Rogen could navigate this minefield. If we were in Seth Rogen’s shoes, this is how we’d answer the difficult questions he’ll likely be faced with in the coming days and weeks, and hopefully he can avoid becoming the next Matt Damon. Obviously, Rogen gets triple bonus points if he actually means what we say he should say:
Red Carpet Reporter: Hi Seth! Loved you in The Disaster Artist. Who are you wearing?
Seth: You mean who made my tuxedo?
Seth: I have no idea. I just put on what my wife asked me to wear. Is there a tag in the back? (*folds down his back collar and pretends to look*). Oh, see. It’s from the JCPenny’s stoner collection.
Reporter: Ha! You’re hilarious. So, hey Seth! Your best friend James Franco has been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior by multiple women. How do you respond to those allegations?
Seth: Oh shit! We’re going there, huh? I thought I’d be able to get at least two more stoner jokes in before I got asked that question.
But seriously, I’ll be honest with you. This is a difficult situation, and it deserves a more serious answer than one I’m prepared to give on the red carpet of an awards show. But I will say this: James has put me in a terrible position, because I’m either shitting on my best friend or I’m expressing disbelief in women. But I don’t want to be the Matt Damon of this friendship. Look: I think, or at least I hope, that James agrees that he’s done some really shitty things that he needs to make amends for, and it is important for men to call out other men, ESPECIALLY when they are your best friends. Franco fucked up, and the first thing he needs to do is to admit it, and then take responsibility for it, and that is something that I will strongly encourage him to do.
Reporter: Did you know?
Seth: Did I know what? That James basically created his own goddamn school so he could teach sex classes? No, of course not. I mean, I knew he was teaching a class, because he’s my best friend, right? But it’s not like he was bragging to me that he was using it to prey on students, because he knows I obviously wouldn’t approve of that. That’s severely fucked up.
Reporter: Will you work with James again?
Seth: Look. James is like my brother, and I’m sure you have family members who have done some things that you don’t condone, right? But you don’t cut family out of your life when they fuck up. I mean, sometimes you do, but that’s the last resort. First, you try to help them, help them see what they’ve done wrong, and how they can amend the situation, and become a better person, and that’s where I am with James. I think the process probably begins with James listening to the women he has treated poorly, and I mean really listening. But no, I’m not going to say that I’ll never work with James again, but I will say that I would never tolerate the behavior he has been accused of on any film set that I work on, whether it’s James or anyone else.
Reporter: Thanks Seth.