Oscar writer Bruce Vilanch speaks out on James Franco's (lack of) hosting skills
To the many viewers out there who wonder whether James Franco was high when he hosted the Oscars (c’mon, you know that’s what you were thinking), veteran Oscar writer Bruce Vilanch denies the allegation.
"No, he wasn't high," Vilanch told Vulture. "I was with him, and he wasn't high. And I asked him, 'Are you high, and can I have some?' And he said no to both."
Instead, Vilanch attributed Franco’s lackadaisical emcee skills to fatigue. But he doesn’t necessarily hold it against the actor.
"I don't think he realized how big a deal it is to do it until he was actually confronted with it," he said. He added, “I thought maybe it was a performance-art prank, and then I realized he sincerely wanted to do it. But it's outside of those guys' comfort zones. The only people who know how to host those shows are people who get up onstage every night and say, 'Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. A funny thing happened ... ' Or people like Bette [Midler] who get up and sing all night and tell stories."
Lest you think Franco took the comments as constructive criticism, think again! Franco took to his Twitter account to air his frustrations with: “Bruce, he let me down.” Only, you wouldn’t know it, because he later deleted his tweet. Oh, that sneaky, sneaky Franco.
Viewership for the Academy Awards, hosted by Franco and Anne Hathaway, fell to 37.6 million viewers, down from last year's 41.3 million viewers.
Photo: Billy Crystal, left, and Bruce Vilanch talk backstage at the 83rd Academy Awards. Credit: Associated Press /Chris Carlson