James Franco claims to have lost three advertising campaign deals due to his choice to work on alternative, often gay themed films.
In a recent interview at SXSW 2013, Franco said he felt like he was taken out of the campaigns because the companies weren’t happy with the image he has developed in the media.
“I did three sex related projects at Sundance this year,” Franco said on the red carpet at the premier of his latest film “Springbreakers” at SXSW.
“One was directly gay themed, or you could say queer themed, and one had some queer themes in it. And I’ve lost three kinds of advertising campaigns now because the companies say they don’t like my image. But I know it’s directly related to the films that I put out at Sundance,” said Franco. “So, you could say that there is still this kind of homophobia or prejudice against certain kinds of material in mainstream cinema.”
The films that Franco participated in at Sundance this past January include “Kink” “Interior. Leather Bar” and “Lovelace.”
“Kink” is a documentary produced by Franco exploring bondage pornography. “Interior. Leather Bar” is co-directed, produced, and starring Franco, which puts together a re imagining of the segments cut from William Friedkin’s 1980s S&M film “Cruising.” And in “Lovelace,” Franco plays Hugh Hefner in a story of “Deep Throat” star Linda Lovelace.
When asked why he chooses such controversial films as projects, Franco said, “I just do projects I believe in. The projects that I produce and direct are projects that are very close to my heart and that are maybe more directly out of my personal creativity.”
Franco also believes that there has to be a change in the industry relating to the perception of LGBT story lines. “I don’t know what would signal a significant change but I think some change still needs to happen,” he said.