James Franco working on 'The Deuce's second season despite looming sexual misconduct claims

James Franco is set to start filming Season 2 of HBO's "The Deuce," multiple media reports said, despite backlash the actor has received amid looming sexual misconduct allegations.

According to a report, the writers for the show are currently working on storylines that include Franco's twin brother characters prominently. 

Franco is the star and the executive producer of the show. 

At Sunday's 70th annual Writers Guild Awards in New York City, Entertainment Tonight spoke with "Deuce" writer Megan Abbot, who confirmed that Franco would "of course" be in the second season of the show.

75th Golden Globe Awards – Arrivals – Beverly Hills, California, U.S., 07/01/2018 – Actor James Franco. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni - HP1EE180162EU

Franco poses for photos on the red carpet at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 7, 2017.  (Reuters)

Co-creator and executive producer of "The Deuce," David Simon, gave a statement to Variety on Jan. 11 saying Franco's conduct while on the show set was “entirely professional.”

His statement was released on the same day the Los Angeles Times published a lengthy exposé featuring five women who came forward and accused the actor of sexual assault. 

Simon said HBO had not received any complaints about the actor.

“We have no complainant or complaint or any awareness of any incident of concern involving Mr. Franco. Nor has HBO been approached with any complaint. In our experience, he was entirely professional as an actor, director and producer.”

When reached for comment about this story, HBO referred Fox News' to Simon's earlier statements.

The allegations against Franco came to light after the actor took home the Golden Globe on Jan. 7 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, for his role in "The Disaster Artist."

Following his win, actress Aly Sheedy tweeted she left show business due to Franco's treatment. Her statements spurred the LA Times report. 

Following the accusations, Franco was a no-show at the 24th SAG Awards on Jan. 20, and was snubbed by the Academy Awards and was not nominated for Best Actor. 

U.S. actress Alison Brie poses for photographers at the European premiere of the film "How to be Single" in London, Britain February 9, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall - RTX2685T

"Glow" actress Alison Brie defended her brother-in-law at the 24th annual SAG Awards on Jan. 20, 2017. Brie is married to Franco's brother, Dave.  (Reuters)

Franco has appeared on late-night talk shows with both Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert, where he has denied the allegations against him. During the SAG Awards, Franco's sister-in-law, Alison Brie, defended him.

"I think that above all what we've always said is it remains vital that anyone that feels victimized should and does have the right to speak out and come forward. I obviously support my family," Brie said on the red carpet.

"Not everything that has been reported is fully accurate, so I think we're waiting to get all the information. But of course now is the time for listening and that's what we're all trying to do."

Prior to the allegations against Franco, in September, HBO announced the official renewal of "The Deuce," citing "early critical raves."

“We are thrilled to continue our creative collaboration with master storytellers David Simon and George Pelecanos,” stated Casey Bloys, president of HBO Programming. “Their unique gift for immersing the audience in their dark and edgy worlds brings a brilliant verisimilitude unlike any other. With the remarkably talented Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco leading an exceptional cast, we look forward to delving deeper as this captivating story evolves.”

Show writer and producer George Pelecanos said, “We’re ready to get back to work with our amazing cast and crew.”

You can find Morgan M. Evans on Twitter @themizfactor.