Freaks And Geeks Star Busy Philipps Says James Franco Was A Bully, Threw Her On The Ground

Showbiz has been rocked by allegations of mistreatment and misconduct by men in the television and film industry, and now former Freaks and Geeks star Busy Philipps has come forward with a troubling story of an encounter with co-star James Franco during their time on the short-lived sitcom. According to Philipps, Franco was a bully on set and she wound up on the ground because of it.

In her upcoming memoir, called This Will Only Hurt a Little, Busy Philipps recounts an incident from her time working on Freaks and Geeks in which she says James Franco shoved her to the ground. In the alleged incident, Philipps states that she gently hit Franco in the chest after being directed to do so for the sake of a scene.

Busy Philipps goes on to say that James Franco then broke character and lashed out, grabbing her arms, screaming in her face, and throwing her on the ground hard enough that she had the "wind knocked out of" her, according to Philipps also stated that she tearfully shared what happened with costar Linda Cardellini, who advised her to call her manager, and Franco was told to apologize by the director and producers, and he did so.

Given that James Franco was accused of sexually inappropriate behavior by five women earlier this year, Busy Philipps' claim from her upcoming book will likely come across as quite troubling to some. For Philipps, however, the incident was not meant to be the biggest selling point or takeaway from her memoir. She shared some additional thoughts on the incident on her Instagram page, posting this:

On that note, my book is 308 pages, not one paragraph. The Franco story is used to illustrate a larger point about the way women are treated in this business and in life. There are no 'allegations' and no 'accusations'. It's a story that I have been telling for years. James apologized. I accepted. And I still get to tell it because it fucking happened to me.

The memoir is not about what happened on the fateful day on the Freaks and Geeks set, and Busy Philipps doesn't mince words when clarifying that the point of the paragraph was not to throw allegations at her former costar. It was an example of how she sees women treated in showbiz and the real world in general. While it's not a pleasant story, Philipps seems more set on sharing a message than anything else.

Busy Philipps also seems to have fond memories of her time as a part of Freaks and Geeks, and her one regret about the show is probably not what you'd expect. The short-lived but much-loved series was her first professional acting job, and she didn't stay out of TV long after Freaks and Geeks was cancelled. She landed a role on Dawson's Creek, and her friendship with Dawson's costar Michelle Williams is still clearly going strong.

You can find Busy Philipps on the small screen this fall with new E! talk show Busy Tonight, which premieres on October 28.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).