Alison Brie walked the SAG Awards red carpet on January 21 and E! correspondent Giuliana Rancic didn’t keep the questions light. Brie—who was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series for her role in Netflix’s GLOW—is married to actor Dave Franco, the younger brother of James Franco. ICYMI, on January 11, the Los Angeles Times published an investigation in which five women accused James Franco of “inappropriate or sexually exploitative behaviour.”
The story broke just days after Franco won a Golden Globe award for his performance in The Disaster Artist. The 39-year-old actor attended the Golden Globes wearing black with a Time’s Up pin on his lapel, seemingly showing his support for the movement to end harassment and inequality in all industries—a hypocritical move Scarlett Johansson called him out for at the 2018 Women’s March in Los Angeles. Franco was also nominated for a SAG Award for his Disaster Artist role (but didn’t win).
During the SAG Awards red carpet, Rancic asked Brie how the allegations against her brother-in-law were affecting her.
At the 2018 #SAGAwards, Alison Brie addressed the allegations of sexual misconduct made against her brother-in-law, James Franco: “It remains vital that anyone that feels victimized should and does have the right to speak out and come forward.” pic.twitter.com/dG5uJJVko7
— E! News (@enews) January 21, 2018
“We spoke a little bit about the Time’s Up movement at the Golden Globes. I know you’re a supporter of the movement, as am I. So much of the movement has to do with transparency,” Rancic said after chatting with Brie about GLOW. “And as you know, your family and brother-in-law has been in the news recently. What are your thoughts on that and what can share with us in terms of how that’s affecting you and your family?”
Brie’s response was measured. “I think that above all what we’ve always said is that it remains vital that anyone who feels victimized should and does have the right to speak out and come forward,” she said. “I obviously support my family and not everything that’s been reported has been fully accurate so I think we’re waiting to get all the information. But of course, now is the time for listening and that’s what we’re all trying to do.”
Reactions on social media to the red carpet interaction were divided, with many criticizing Rancic for asking Brie this question about Franco in the first place since, hi, he’s her brother-in-law and she shouldn’t have to speak for him.
Giuliana Rancic just asked Alison Brie about James Franco’s sexual misconduct allegations and idk how I feel about that? That’s not her husband and it’s kind of annoying that she was put on the spot to answer for what he did. #ERedCarpet #SAGAwards pic.twitter.com/3o8afGY0jO
— BRIANA (@briasoboojie) January 21, 2018
Others were not stoked on Brie’s answer, particularly the characterization that some of what’s been reported is not “fully accurate.”
Alison Brie about brother-in-law James Franco: “Not everything that has been reported is fully accurate.” Partly true is bad enough.
— Fee (@NeinNeinOKFine) January 21, 2018
Alison Brie is so problematic on the red carpet right now. I can’t. #SAGAwards
— Tyde Pawde (@yosoymichael) January 21, 2018
Regardless of how her response sat with viewers, several Twitter users were quick to point out that she gave the safest possible answer to a loaded question.
(Alison’s answer was basically the only one she could give – she said some of the allegations were inaccurate/she supports her family but it’s vital for women to speak out and everyone else to listen; very measured.) – J
— Heather & Jessica (@fuggirls) January 21, 2018
Alison Brie was so well prepared for E!’s James Franco question. It’s almost like they had a family meeting about how horrible this red carpet was gonna be for them and she volunteered as tribute.
— Rebecca Keegan (@ThatRebecca) January 21, 2018
Whether it was the right answer or the wrong question, one thing is clear: time’s up on light-hearted red carpet interviews.