Celebrities and Instagram seem to go together like a match and gasoline. It seems that each new day that dawns brings a new nude selfie, or some other kind of controversial image that lands a celebrity in hot water and manages to either ruin or revive their career. Perhaps famous people need to take some courses to learn proper social media etiquette. The latest Instagram disaster has hit James Franco, who is being accused of using Instagram to try to hook up with a teen he ran into on the streets of New York.
Lucy Clode, a young girl who was visiting New York as an 18th birthday gift, met Franco at a recent performance of his show, Of Mice and Men, playing on Broadway. Clode was able to take an Instagram video with the star, and he reportedly told Clode to tag him in the video, enabling him to find it on the social network. Apparently, later that night, the two engaged in a bit of flirtatious conversation, with Franco repeatedly asking to see Clode, and the girl asking for confirmation of the former Freaks and Geeks star’s identity twice. Clode requested that he take a picture of himself holding a piece of paper with her name written on it to prove he was indeed the real James Franco, and it seems the actor obliged.
The conversation, which was turned into screen captures, was leaked on the Internet on Wednesday, and James Franco, who it appears did not hook up or connect with the girl, wasted no time in responding to the scandal, creating a post on his Instagram account saying that he hopes all parents keep their teenagers away from him. If he really did attempt to pick up the young girl, who was not quite 18-years-old yet, then it will probably be no problem for parents to keep their daughters locked up when Franco is in town.
While the images look very convincing, it is possible that the whole incident is a hoax that has been fabricated by Clode or someone else, simply to get attention. With the type of photo manipulation software available today, it would not be terribly difficult to fake the screen captures, but the photo of Franco, or someone who looks an awful lot like him, holding the paper with her name on it is hard to refute.
When a celebrity has something like this hanging over their head, many wonder what kind of impact, if any, it will have on their career. This is likely to have little effect on Franco’s projects that are in the works, though his public image may sustain a little damage, but nothing that will last. While he will certainly catch flack from his buddies and fans, the actor, if truly involved in the incident, appears to have made the right call by not hooking up with Clode. It will not take long for this story to blow over and a new Instagram scandal with another celebrity will take its place. As to whether or not James Franco actually tried to hook up with a teen through Instagram, or whether it a publicity stunt for an upcoming project, may not be known any time soon.
By Michael Cantrell