Franzese and Bijou appeared together in 2001’s Bully, along with Brad Renfro. In a lengthy Facebook post Mean Girls actor Franzese said that he decided to tell “this story of homophobia and abuse because Ellen Page shared hers.”
Franzese goes on to write about his experience with Philips, saying that the Raising Hope actress “body shamed me and ridiculed me about my sexuality and physically assaulted me” on the set of Bully.
Describing one incident, Franzese claims that as well as ridiculing his sexual identity (calling him “Bi Guy”) Philips engaged in excessive body shaming during a pool scene, leading to intervention from the movie’s main star Brad Renfro, a former child actor who passed away in 2008.
“Later on in the production I had a scene where my character had to take his shirt off. It was an extremely vulnerable moment for me because I was not at all the type of guy comfortable with taking my clothes off in front of anyone at that point in my life.
I was the chubby kid who wore his shirt in the pool. So I take my shirt off in the scene and she breaks character and she pointed at my body and at the top of her lungs yelled “Ewwww gross!!!”
She laughed and pointed at me and continued to berate me. they call cut and I had to walk off set to collect myself. Brad Renfro (RIP) started crying and he followed me off set grabbed my face and kissed me.
He told me not to listen to her that I was beautiful and such a great actor etc and i loved him and respected him so much for that moment. We continued on with my scene and she made taunting faces during all of our camera coverage prompting Brad to yell “Someone give me a real actress!”
Franzese also claims that Scientologist Philips “grabbed my nipple and twisted it hard through my shirt and laughed and walked away.”
On November 10, X Men actress Ellen Page outlined her experiences at the hands of X Men: The Last Stand director Brett Ratner, who currently stands accused of the sexual harassment/ misconduct of six women.
Speaking to a female co-star of Page about Page, Ratner reportedly said “You should fuck her to make her realize she’s gay.”
In a detailed Facebook post Page went on to describe the impact of Ratner’s words. “I was a young adult who had not yet come out to myself. I knew I was gay, but did not know, so to speak,” writes Page.
“I felt violated when this happened. I looked down at my feet, didn’t say a word and watched as no one else did either. This man, who had cast me in the film, started our months of filming at a work event with this horrific, unchallenged plea. He “outed” me with no regard for my well-being, an act we all recognise as homophobic.”
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