Entertainment Weekly broke the news on Monday that James Franco will be returning for season 2 of HBO’s The Deuce. This news comes in spite of the fact that a series of sexual harassment allegations have recently been placed against him.
Set in Manhattan during the early 1970s, The Deuce follows New York’s sex industry of the time, which was built on the infamous 42nd Street. The drama stars James Franco (who plays twin brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino) and Maggie Gyllenhaal (Candy Merrell).
The Deuce immediately received strong praise from critics when it first premiered last year, causing HBO to renew the series for a second season before it even completed its first run on television. However, the future of the series was put into question in January when multiple women came forward and accused Franco of inappropriate sexual conduct. The women were not affiliated with The Deuce in any way; four were former students of Franco’s, while the fifth was an up-and-coming filmmaker.
Those who work on the series have insisted that the controversy surrounding Franco will not affect the show. This was confirmed by writer Megan Abbott, who insisted to Entertainment Weekly that Franco would “of course” be coming back for The Deuce season 2.
When news of the allegations of Franco initially broke, HBO clarified that it did not receive any complaints against Franco, from those involved with The Deuce or otherwise. This no doubt informed the network’s decision to bring the actor back without question for season 2.
The Deuce’s executive producer and co-creator, David Simon, told interviewers that, “In our experience, he was entirely professional as an actor, director, and producer.” In an interview with Stephen Colbert, Franco said the allegations against him were “not accurate”.
HBO has not yet set a premiere date for The Deuce season 2.