The James Franco SNL Spelling Bee was a hilariously funny parody that features Franco as the moderator of a high school spelling bee. He gives a series off words that the participants must accurately spell. The humor really kicks in when each participant asks for him to use the word in a sentence, then supply the definition. Franco is at his stoic comedic best as he directs every sentence and definition back to some abusive experience he had suffered at the hands of his step-father Kevin. We sense the tension and it’s truly funny, but the bee reaches a new level when one of the words is over the top and the judges order an immediate replacement. The objectionable word Urophiliac, which is a person who likes to get peed on is quickly taken off the list before he can utter a word about it.
The audience appreciates the off-color humor
As the bee goes on, the innocent word “adolescent” is presented to the speller. Franco finds a way to continue the rant about his step father, incorporating the word Urophiliac into the skit with dark sexual overtones. The entire presentation was an audience favorite and nobody seemed to have a problem with the adult humor. It was in line with a typical SNL skit with nothing overtly glaring, but that was then and this is now.
How the SNL Spelling Bee Seems Way Different Now
The depravity that ruled in the SNL Spelling Bee skit was applauded prior to allegations off sexual misconduct made against Franco. For many who doubt his innocence, it’s difficult to watch the Spelling Bee without associating the humor without associating a personal depravity lurking within the comedian. Somehow, what was once funny, for some now creates a sense of disgust.
Not everyone is affected by the allegations
There are some die hard fans who are still as fond of the versatile actor/comedian as ever before. When it comes to allegations of sexual misconduct, the lines often get blurred in the presentations made by accusers as well as the media. This is in no way deprecating the claims that have been made, nor is is suggesting that any inappropriate actions should be ignored. It is merely acknowledging two popular thoughts among Franco supporters. Any person is innocent until proven guilty and if the skit was funny before the allegations, in their minds, it’s still funny.
How the scandal may impact Franco’s career
James Franco has embraced a complicated persona when it comes to his sexuality. Many of his works deal with homosexuality and he has openly stated that there is a gay part of him, but in his personal life, he is heterosexual. This open minded perspective has earned Franco respect from persons with a more liberal or live and let live policy, but whether straight, gay or otherwise, sexual abuse is not acceptable on any level. In his case, the accusations only include male on female encounters. It has been rumored that Franco made a few apologies over the incidents, but denies any wrong doing. The entire situation earned James a snub at the most recent Academy Awards, but he’s not reached the point of being blackballed. He joins the long list of Hollywood professionals to be identified in the offending class that the We 2 movement is attempting to hold accountable. This is not a good position to be found in as any inappropriate sexual behaviors will be met with a call out and public exposure.
Is the SNL really that different?
The larger question when it comes to Franco’s performance is, do thee allegations about him really change the way that people feel about the Spelling Bee skit? From all appearances, the verdict on this is split. Unless Franco is called out in a more public and forceful manner, there will always be fans who want to believe the best, at least about his intentions. Just the same, there will be those who are offended by any kind of sexual references if there is a chance that the charges are true. This is a way of thinking that considers the possibility of his innocence, while there are others who are truly disturbed that so many women stepped forward to share their stories. Most people, given a good reason to believe the charges to be true would heartily support any victims in the situation. Perhaps the world is evolving to a better state that offers a little greater safety from predators.