Trigger Warning: This article contains details of sexual assault

Because Hollywood is seemingly as toxic as Captain Planet’s rogues’ gallery, pretty much every day we find out that yet another celebrity did something terrible. Like did you hear about the allegations against Julie Andrews? Okay, there aren’t any (and there never will be, dammit) but you have to admit you were worried there for a split-second. As we’ve mentioned before, sometimes these tarnished celebs oddly foreshadowed their eventual misdeeds through their work, sometimes years earlier, such as how …

J.K. Rowling’s Detective Novels Were An Early Glimpse Into Her Garbage Views

We’ve talked before about how J.K. Rowling is inching towards a future in which she’s remembered by the world primarily as “that transphobic blogger who also wrote a book about a child magician or something.” Lately, Rowling has only doubled-down on her bigotry, and is heaping praise onto self-described right-wing fascists for doing the same. Things have gotten so bad that even people who spend their free time playing a sport that necessitates pretending to ride a flying broomstick don’t want to be associated with her.

While Rowling’s views may have come as shock to anyone who saw the Harry Potter books as being generally pro-inclusivity (with the exception of the magic hat that segregates all the children who are slightly moody) this late career pivot into transphobia was telegraphed by her recent detective novels written under the pen name Robert Galbraith – which, perhaps not coincidentally, is alarmingly similar to the name of a famous real life anti-LGBTQ+ conversion therapist. The “Cormoran Strike” series of books, later turned into a TV show –

– follow a beefy private detective and his partner. After Rowling’s social media posts, critics pointed out that the second book in the series, The Silkworm, features a scene in which a trans woman is repeatedly ridiculed by the protagonist for her “prominent” Adam’s apple, and voice "as rough and loud as a docker's." He also threatens to send her to prison where it “won’t be fun … not pre-op.” Even in the rest of the book, Rowling’s story is “consistently othering and patronizing” to the trans character. If all that wasn’t enough, a later entry in the book series, Troubled Blood, featured “a serial killer who dresses as a woman to prey on his victims,” presumably because the story was set entirely in J.K. Rowling’s brain. 

Kevin Spacey Won An Oscar For Creeping On A Teen In American Beauty

“Kevin Spacey is headed to court” – back in the ‘90s, that might have been the logline of a tense legal thriller. Today it means that the disgraced actor is facing multiple sexual assault allegations in a U.K. trial set to begin next year. He’s also being sued in federal court by actor Anthony Rapp, whose 2017 allegations against Spacey helped pave the way for more than thirty men to come forward with accusations “ranging from nonconsensual groping to the attempted rape of minors.” While Spacey “strenuously denies” committing any crimes, he did offer a half-assed apology to Rapp for his “inappropriate” behavior – which he also couched in a coming out message that was promptly denounced by organizations such as GLAAD.

And while we’re sure it was all just a massive coincidence, releasing creepy Christmas-themed videos in character as House of Cards’ villainous Frank Underwood the same year three of his accusers died, sure didn’t look great …

Again, Spacey has never been convicted of any crime. But for those of us who grew up watching Kevin Spacey movies, this is all extra-weird. For one thing, more than one Kevin Spacey character is just a harmless-seeming guy who turns out to be a terrifying monster by the end. 

And, most relevantly, perhaps his most acclaimed performance, Lester Burnham in American Beauty, is literally about a middle aged man attempting to seduce a minor. But because it was packaged along with a mid-life crisis that included pot-smoking and Bob Dylan records, somehow everyone at the time heraled it as a brilliant depiction of Boomer ennui, not a disquietingly chill story about sexual predator.  

Lester giving Angela beer even calls to mind one Spacey accuser’s claims of being “plied” with alcohol. If this trend continues, they may have to drag a talking cat into the courtroom. 

Armie Hammer Battled A Cannibal In The Lone Ranger

Death on the Nile star and future timeshare salesman Armie Hammer was famously accused by an anonymous former partner of having a cannibalism fetish that resulted in abusive behavior, including sending her “graphic and violent texts about cannibalism, rape fantasies, and his desire to drink her blood.” He was later accused of rape, possibly by the same woman, and “emotional abuse” by another ex. 

Weirdly, the guy who allegedly wrote “I am 100% a cannibal. I want to eat you” and has been battling cannibal-based rumors ever since, once starred in a movie where he did literal battle against a cannibal. And while we’re sure that they would have preferred not to have their name mentioned in this article, it was produced by the Walt Disney Company. Of course we’re talking about The Lone Ranger, starring Hammer as the titular hero and (sigh) Johnny Depp as his Indigenous sidekick Tonto.

For some reason, the villain of this movie, which again, was made by the same people behind The Aristocats, was a grotesque cannibal named Butch – who literally eats a dude’s heart the first time he shows up. 

Disney

In retrospect, Hammer pretending to be revolted by this villain may be the best acting he’s ever done. 

James Franco Played A Creepy Teacher In A Movie (Based On A Book By James Franco)

As we all know by now, James Franco was accused by multiple former students (from his now-shuttered acting school) of misconduct ranging from being “generally creepy” to “sexually abusive.” Franco later admitted to having had sex with his students and was ordered to pay more than $2 million to settle a class action lawsuit stemming from allegations that he created a “pipeline of young women who were subjected to his personal and professional sexual exploitation in the name of education.”

In light of these developments, you know what’s a weird movie to watch? Palo Alto

Directed by Gia Coppola (granddaughter of Francis Ford Coppola) Palo Alto tells a number of intertwining stories, one of which involves Franco as a high school teacher who seduces and rapes a 14-year-old girl – oh, and it’s based on a book of short stories by James Franco. While Franco claimed in interviews that Coppola urged him to take the role, it’s not hard to see that his story, which romanticizes the sexual exploitation of a student, distinctly mirrors the later accusations against him and his crapass school. 

Even before that, the similarities between the character and the real-life Franco became apparent very quickly when he was caught propositioning a 17-year-old via text message– which back in 2014 was treated by the media with all the seriousness of a state fair pie-eating contest. ABC News called it a “dishy drama” and framed it as a story, not about a minor being harassed by an older movie star, but as the time James Franco learned about the perils of social media “the hard way.”

People noted at the time that this was all extremely similar to the plot of the movie – with some even wondering whether the story was actually real or a “hoax” PR stunt to promote Palo Alto. Which … it definitely was not. 

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter

Thumbnail: Disney  

Join the Cracked Movie Club

Expand your movie and TV brain--get the weekly Cracked Movie Club newsletter!

Forgot Password?