AceShowbiz - Maggie Gyllenhaal insists it would have been the "opposite of the right thing to do" to shut down her show "The Deuce" after sexual misconduct allegations emerged about her co-star James Franco.
The 40-year-old actress produces and stars alongside James in the HBO show, which focuses on the beginning of the sex trade industry in New York in the early 1970s. James hit headlines when five women came forward in January to accuse him of sexual misconduct - claims he has denied. And addressing the allegations for the first time, Maggie said she took them "very seriously".
"I felt it was my responsibility to do the opposite of ignore it," she said during an interview on SiriusXM show Sway in the Morning on Tuesday, October 09.
"You know, we at the time that the accusations against James came out in the LA Times we read them all, we took them very seriously. We spoke to every woman on the crew and in the cast to find out if they felt respected and what their experience of working with James was and everyone said that they had been totally respected by him."
Maggie added that she also had to take into account the plot of the show when thinking about the accusations levelled against James.
"For me, I would say another thing that was really important was our show is about, like I said, it's about misogyny. It's about transactional sex. It's about inequality in the entertainment business. You couldn't be more at the centre of that conversation than 'The Deuce'."
And while similar situations have seen the accused actor axed from the show, such as Kevin Spacey in "House of Cards", or the programme itself shut down, Maggie did her utmost to ensure "The Deuce" kept going.
"To me, I thought I want to keep telling this story, I want to keep playing Candy and going deep into, like, really what it's like from a woman's perspective to be dealing with all the stuff that is on everybody's minds right now," she explained.
"I feel like it would've been the wrong consequence to those accusations to shut our show down. It would've been like actually the opposite of the right thing to do. And yet, you know, look, I believe that there should be consequences for disrespecting or assaulting women. Of course, I do."