James Franco honored as LGBT ally at Outfest

James Franco was honored at Outfest Film Festival for his contributions to LGBT cinema before a screening of his most recent film.

James Franco was awarded the first annual James Schamus Award at Outfest this weekend for his contributions to LGBT cinema.

The actor is a staple of the Los Angeles festival, which showcases films that spotlight the LGBT experience.

Several of his past films have been shown at Outfest, including ‘I am Michael’ and ‘Howl’, and this year his latest – a gay adult film drama called ‘King Cobra’ – was featured at the event.

The film follows the real life murder of gay porn baron Bryan Kocis, and premiered during this year’s Tribeca Film Festival to rave reviews.


Franco plays a rival producer alongside ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Keegan Allen, and Christian Slater stars as Kocis.

“So many of my heroes have been in this community, are a part of this community and I’m just honored to be awarded this,” Franco said in a pre-recorded acceptance video. “I love so many of these stories and so many people and so many artists in particular. So, I’m honored to tell their stories.”

The actor has recently come under fire after saying he was “a little gay” and “a cock tease” in an interview with Rolling Stone.

However, ‘King Cobra’ director Justin Kelly came to his defense, telling the Daily Beast that Franco’s decisions to pick roles based on character and story first and sexuality second is “wildly progressive”.

Kelly also directed Franco in ‘I am Michael’, which tells the controversial true story of gay activist Michael Glatze, who rejected his homosexuality and became a Christian pastor.