A story that is either kind of hilarious or totally gross is making the rounds: It seems James Franco met a 17-year-old tourist in New York City on Tuesday as he was signing autographs after performing in Of Mice and Men, and later attempted—via Instagram—to hook up with her. The teen posted photos and a video—in which Franco can be seen and heard asking her to tag him—on Instagram. Then things got weird. In screenshots the teen posted to Imgur (they've since been taken down), Franco, 35, appears to try and pick up on the girl. The screenshots were captured for posterity by Daily Dot, Dlisted, Gawker, Jezebel, and other outlets.
In them, Franco (or at least it appears to be Franco) asks the girl (first through Instagram direct messages, then in text messages) how old she is, whether she has a boyfriend, and whether he should rent a room so they can get together in her hotel. The girl twice asked for proof of his identity, and he sent two selfies, one in which he's holding up a piece of paper with her first name written on it. He also asks her at one point not to tell anyone about the interaction, but to text when she wants to meet up. In response to the drama swirling around the story, Franco tweeted, "I HOPE PARENTS KEEP THEIR TEENS AWAY FROM ME. Thank you." He also briefly added a line to his Instagram profile reading, "PLEASE DON'T DM IF YOU ARE UNDER 18, THANK YOU," but that has since been removed.